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THE AMBER WITCH.

INTRODUCTION.

The origin of our biographer cannot be traced with any degree of certainty, owing to the loss of the first part of his manuscript. It is, however, pretty clear that he was not a Pomeranian, as he says he was in Silesia in his youth, and mentions relations scattered far and wide, not only at Hamburg and Cologne, but even at Antwerp; above all, his South-German language betrays a foreign origin, and he makes use of words which are, I believe, peculiar to Swabia. He must, however, have been living for a long time in Pomerania at the time he wrote, as he even more frequently uses Low-German expressions, such as occur in contemporary native Pomeranian writers.

Since he sprang from an ancient noble family, as he says on several occasions, it is possible that some particulars relating to the Schweidlers might be discovered in the family records of the seventeenth century which would give a clue to his native country; but I have sought for that name in all the sources of information accessible to me, in vain, and am led to suspect that our author, like many of his contemporaries, laid aside his nobility and changed his name when he took holy orders.

I will not, however, venture on any further conjectures ; the manuscript, of which six chapters are missing, begins with the words "Imperialists plundered,” and evidently the

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