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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; whereupos the five others, among them mine own churchwarden Clans 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 confessional. 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, 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 every thing 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. Meanwhile 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 wellnigh 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 forsake us even in the great famine, but had faithfully borne up against it, and indeed had humbled me by her faith, and had ex.
horted 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. Hereupon my daughter jumped up, and answered with tears, " Alas, old Ilse, 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, 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 Ilse 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 Ilse, 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.....
.. si ry
How my poor child was taken up for a witch, and carried to Pudgla.
The next day, Monday, the 12th 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 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
said, as we Orthis none amour guileless to depart fre, might not
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 to come 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 churchyard, 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 30 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. Whereupon 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 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 shyed, 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 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