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their servant Claus Neels had heard, as he stood in the stable ; and he had also sought to gain his ends by means of an ungodly woman, one Lizzie Kolken, who had formerly been in his service; that this woman, belike, had contrived the spells which they laid to her charge: she herself knew nothing of witchcraft; item, she related what the Sheriff had done to her the evening before, when she had just come, and when he for the first time spoke out plainly, thinking that she was then altogether in his power: nay, more, that he had come to her that very night again, in her dungeon, and had made her the same offers, saying that he would set her free if she would let him have his will of her; and that when she denied him, he had struggled with her, whereupon she had screamed aloud, and had scratched him across the nose, as might yet
be whereupon he had left her; wherefore she would not acknowledge the Sheriff as her judge, and trusted in God to save her from the hand of her enemies, as of old he had saved the chaste Susannah.
When she now held her peace amid loud sobs, Dom. Consul started
up after he had looked, as we all did, at the Sheriff's nose, and had in truth espied the scar upon it, and cried out in amaze, “Speak, for God his sake, speak, what is this that I hear of your lordship?” Whereupon the Sheriff, without changing colour, answered, that although, indeed, he was not called upon to say anything to their worships, seeing that he was the head of the court, and that Rea, as appeared from numberless indicia, was a wicked witch, and therefore could not bear witness against him or any one else ; he, nevertheless, would speak, so as to give no cause of scandal to the court; that all the charges brought against him by this person were foul lies; it was, indeed, true, that he would have hired her for a housekeeper, whereof he stood greatly in need, seeing that his old Dorothy was already growing infirm ; it was also true that he had yesterday questioned her in private, hoping to get her to confess by fair means, whereby her sentence would be softened, inasmuch as he had pity on her great youth ; but that he had not said one naughty word to her, nor had he been to her in the night; and that it was his little lap-dog, called Below, which had scratched him, while he played with it that very morning ; that his old Dorothy could bear witness to this, and that the cunning witch had only made use of this wile to divide the court against itself, thereby and with the devil's help, to gain her own advantage, inasmuch
as she was a most cunning creature, as the court would soon find out.
Hereupon I plucked up a heart, and declared that all my daughter had said was true, and that the evening before I myself had heard, through the door, how his lordship had made offers to her, and would have done wantonness with her ; item, that he had already sought to kiss her once at Coserow; item, the troubles which his lordship had formerly brought upon me in the matter of the first-fruits.
Howbeit the Sheriff presently talked me down, saying, that if I had slandered him, an innocent man, in church, from the pulpit, as the whole congregation could bear witness, I should doubtless find it easy to do as much here, before the court; not to mention that a father could, in no case, be a witness for his own child.
But Dom. Consul seemed quite confounded, and was silent, and leaned his head on the table, as in deep thought. Meanwhile the impudent constable began to finger his beard from under his arm ; and Dom. Consul thinking it was a fly, struck at him with his hand, without even looking up; but when he felt the constable his hand, he jumped up and asked him what he wanted ? whereupon the fellow answered, “ O, only a louse was creeping there, and I would have caught it.”
At such impudence his worship was so exceeding wroth that he struck the constable on the mouth, and ordered him, on pain of heavy punishment, to leave the room.
Hereupon he turned to the Sheriff, and cried, angrily, “Why, in the name of all the ten devils, is it thus your lordship keeps the constable in order ? and truly, in this whole matter, there is something which passes my understanding." But the Sheriff answered, “ Not so; should you not understand it all when you think upon
the eels?” Hereat Dom. Consul of a sudden turned ghastly pale, and began to tremble, as it appeared to me, and called the Sheriff aside into another chamber. I have never been able to learn what that about the eels could mean.
Meanwhile Dominus Camerarius Gebhard Wenzel sat biting his pen and looking furiously—now at me, and now at my child, but said not a word; neither did he answer Scriba, who often whispered somewhat into his ear, save by a growl. At length
both their worships' came back into the chamber together, and Dom. Consul, after he and the Sheriff had seated themselves, began to reproach my poor child violently, saying that she had sought to make a disturbance in the worshipful court; that his lordship had shown him the very dog which had scratched his nose, and that, moreover, the fact had been sworn to by the old housekeeper.
(Truly she was not likely to betray him, for the old harlot had lived with him for years, and she had a good big boy by him, as will be seen 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 crossquestion 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 :
Quæstio. 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
often. Q. What had she done there?—R. She had looked out over the sea, or gathered flowers; item, at time carried home an apronfull of dry brushwood.
Q. Whether she had ever called upon the devil there?—R. That had never come into her mind.
Q. Whether, then, the devil had appeared to her there, uncalled ?—R. God defend her from such a thing.
Q. So she could not bewitch?—R. No.
Q. What, then, befel 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 ?—R. She did not know; but belike there was some one (and here she looked at the Sheriff) who paid her double for it all.
Q. It was in vain that she sought to shift the guilt from off herself; had she not bewitched old Paasch his crop, nay, even her own father's, and caused it to be trodden down by the devil, item, conjured all the caterpillars into her father's orchard ?R. The question was almost as monstrous as the deed would have been. There sat her father, and his worship might ask him whether she ever had shown herself an undutiful child to him. (Hereupon I would have risen to speak, but Dom. Consul suffered me not to open my mouth, but went on with his examination; whereupon I remained silent and downcast.)
Q. Whether she did likewise deny that it was through her malice that the woman Witthan had given birth to a devil's imp, which straightway started up and flew out at the window, so that
when the midwife sought for it it had disappeared ?-R. Truly she did ; and indeed she had all the days of her life done good to the people instead of harm, for during the terrible famine she had often taken the bread out of her own mouth to share it among the others, especially the little children. To this the whole parish must needs bear witness, if they were asked; whereas witches and warlocks always did evil and no good to men, as our Lord Jesus taught (Matt. xii.), when the Pharisees blasphemed him, saying that he cast out devils by Beelzebub the prince of the devils; hence his worship might see whether she could in truth be a witch.
Q. He would soon teach her to talk of blasphemies; he saw that her tongue was well hung; but she must answer the questions he asked her, and say nothing more. The question was not what good she had done to the poor, but wherewithal she had done it; she must now show how she and her father had of a sudden grown so rich that she could go pranking about in silken raiment, whereas she used to be so very poor?
Hereupon she looked towards me, and said, “ Father, shall I tell ?” Whereupon I answered, “ Yes, my child, now thou must openly tell all, even though we thereby become beggars." She accordingly told how, when our need was sorest, she had found the amber, and how much we had gotten for it from the Dutch merchants.
Q. What were the names of these merchants ?—R. Dieterich von Pehnen and Jakob Kiekebusch; but, as we have heard from a schipper, they since died of the plague at Stettin.
Q. Why had we said nothing of such a godsend ?—R. Out of fear of our enemy the Sheriff, who, as it seemed, had condemned us to die of hunger, inasmuch as he forbade the parishioners, under pain of heavy displeasure, to supply us with anything, saying, that he would soon send them a better parson.
Hereupon Dom. Consul again looked the Sheriff sharply in the face, who answered that it was true he had said this, seeing that the
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.