« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
She knew nothing about that. But there was a great vein of amber there, as she could show to them all that very day; and she had broken out the amber, and covered the hole well over with fir-twigs, so that none should find it.
Q. When had she gone up the Streckelberg; by day or by night?—R. Hereupon she blushed, and for a moment held her peace; but presently made answer, “ Sometimes by day, and sometimes by night.”
Q. Why did she hesitate? She had better make a full confession of all, so that her punishment might be less heavy. Had she not there given over old Seden to Satan, who had carried him off through the air, and left only a part of his hair and brains sticking to the top of an oak ?—R. She did not know whether that was his hair and brains at all, nor how it came there. She went to the tree one morning because she heard a woodpecker cry so dolefully. Item, old Paasch, who also had heard the cries, came up with his axe in his hand.
Q. Whether the woodpecker was not the devil himself, who had carried off old Seden?—R. She did not know: but he must have been dead some tiine, seeing that the blood and brains which the lad fetched down out of the tree were quite dried up.
Q. How and when, then, had he come by his death ?-R. That Almighty God only knew. But Zuter his little girl had said that one day, while she gathered nettles for the cows under Seden his hedge, she heard the goodman threaten his squint-eyed wife that he would tell the parson that he now knew of a certainty that she had a familiar spirit; whereupon the goodman had presently disappeared. But that this was a child's tale, and she would fyle no one on the strength of it.
Hereupon Dom. Consul again looked the Sheriff steadily in the face, and said, “Old Lizzie Kolken must be brought before us this very day :” whereto the Sheriff made no answer ; and he went on to ask,
Q. Whether, then, she still maintained that she knew nothing of the devil ?--R. She maintained it now, and would maintain it until her life's end.
Q. And nevertheless, as had been seen by witnesses, she had been re-baptized by him in the sea in broad daylight.—Here again she blushed, and for a moment was silent.
Q. Why did she blush again? She should for God his sake think on her salvation, and confess the truth.—R. She had bathed herself in the sea, seeing that the day was very hot; that was the whole truth.
Q. What chaste maiden would ever bathe in the sea ? Thou liest ; or wilt thou even yet deny that thou didst bewitch old Paasch his little girl with a white roll?-R. Alas! alas! She loved the child as though it were her own little sister; not only had she taught her as well as all the other children without reward, but during the heavy famine she had often taken the bit from her own mouth to put it into the little child's. How then could she have wished to do her such grievous harm?
Q. Wilt thou even yet deny?—Reverend Abraham, how stubborn is your child! See here, is this no witches' salve,* which the constable fetched out of thy coffer last night? Is this no witches' salve, eh?—R. It was a salve for the skin, which would make it soft and white, as the apothecary at Wolgast had told her, of whom she bought it.
Q. Hereupon he shook his head, and went on: How! wilt thou then lastly deny that on this last Saturday the 10th July, at 12 o'clock at night, thou didst on the Streckelberg call upon thy paramour the devil in dreadful words, whereupon he appeared to thee in the shape of a great hairy giant, and clipped thee and toyed with thee?
At these words she grew more pale than a corpse, and tottered so that she was forced to hold by a chair ; and I, wretched
man, who would readily have sworn away my life for her, when I saw and heard this, my senses forsook me, so that I fell down from the bench, and Dom. Consul had to call in the constable to help me up.
When I had come to myself a little, and the impudent varlet saw our common consternation, he cried out, grinning at the court the while, “Is it all out? is it all out ? has she confessed ?” Whereupon Dom. Consul again showed him the door with a sharp rebuke, as might have been expected ; and it is said that this knave played the pimp for the Sheriff, and indeed I think he would not otherwise have been so bold.
* 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.
Summa: I should well nigh have perished in my distress, but for the little rose, which by the help of God's mercy kept me up bravely; and now the whole court rose and exhorted my poor fainting child, by the living God, and as she would save her soul, to deny no longer, but in pity to herself and her father to confess the truth.
Hereupon she heaved a deep sigh, and grew as red as she had been pale before, insomuch that even her hand upon the chair was like scarlet, and she did not raise her eyes from the ground.
R. She would now then confess the simple truth, as she saw right well that wicked people had stolen after and watched her at nights. That she had been to seek for amber on the mountain, and that to drive away fear she had, as she was wont to do at her work, recited the Latin carmen which her father had made on the illustrious King Gustavus Adolphus : when young Rüdiger of Nienkerken, who had oft-times been at her father's house and talked of love to her, came out of the coppice, and when she cried out for fear, spoke to her in Latin, and clasped her in his arms. That he wore a great wolf's-skin coat, so that folks should not know him if they met him, and tell the lord his father that he had been on the mountain by night.
At this her confession I fell into sheer despair, and cried in great wrath, “O thou ungodly and undutiful child, after all then thou hast a paramour! Did not I forbid thee to go up the mountain by night? What didst thou want on the mountain by night ?” and I began to moan and weep and wring my hands, so that Dom. Consul even had pity on me, and drew near to comfort me.
Meanwhile she herself came towards me, and began to defend herself, saying, with many tears, that she had gone up the mountain by night, against my commands, to get so much amber that she might secretly buy for me, against my birthday, the Opera Sancti Augustini, which the Cantor at Wolgast wanted to sell. That it was not her fault that the young lord lay in wait for her one night; and that she would swear to me, by the living God, that naught that was unseemly had happened between them there, and that she was still a maid.
And herewith the first hearing was at end, for after Dom. Consul had whispered somewhat into the ear of the Sheriff, he called in the constable again, and bade him keep good watch over Rea;
item, not to leave her at large in her dungeon any longer, but to put her in chains. These words pierced my very heart, and I besought his worship to consider my sacred office, and my ancient noble birth, and not to do me such dishonour as to put my daughter in chains. That I would answer for her to the worshipful court with my own head that she would not escape. Whereupon Dom. Consul, after he had gone to look at the dungeon himself, granted me my request, and commanded the constable to leave her as she had been hitherto.
How Satan, by the permission of the most righteous God, sought altogether
to ruin us, and how we lost all hope.
The same day, at about three in the afternoon, when I was gone to Conrad Seep his ale-house to eat something, seeing that it was now nearly two days since I had tasted aught save my tears, and he had placed before me some bread and sausage, together with a mug of beer, the constable came into the room and greeted me from the Sheriff, without, however, so much as touching his cap, asking whether I would not dine with his lordship; that his lordship had not remembered till now that I belike was still fasting, seeing the trial had lasted so long. Hereupon I made answer to the constable that I already had my
me, as he saw himself, and desired that his lordship would hold me excused. Hereat the fellow wondered greatly, and answered ; did I not see that his lordship wished me well, albeit I had preached at him as though he were a Jew? I should think on my daughter, and be somewhat more ready to do his lordship’s will, whereby peradventure all would yet end well. For his lordship was not such a rough ass as Dom. Consul, and meant well by my child and me, as beseemed a righteous magistrate.
After I had with some trouble rid myself of this impudent fox, I tried to eat a bit, but nothing would go down save the beer. I therefore soon sat and thought again whether I would not lodge with Conrad Seep, so as to be always near my child; item, whether I should not hand over my poor misguided flock to M. Vigelius, the pastor of Benz, for such time as the Lord still should prove me. In about an hour I saw through the window how that an empty coach drove to the castle, and the Sheriff and Dom. Consul straightway stepped thereinto with my child ; item, the constable climbed up behind. Hereupon I left everything on the table and ran to the coach, asking humbly whither they were about to take my poor child; and when I heard they were