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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, “ 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.
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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 lord. ship 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 dinner before 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 going to the Streckelberg to look after the amber, I begged them to take me also, and to suffer me to sit by my child, for who could tell how much longer I might yet sit by her! This was granted to me, and on the way the Sheriff offered me to take up my abode in the castle and to dine at his table as often as I pleased, and that he would, moreover, send my child her meat from his own table. For that he had a Christian heart, and well knew that we were to forgive our enemies. But I refused his kindness with humble thanks, as my child did also, seeing we were not yet so poor that we could not maintain ourselves. - As we passed by the watermill the ungodly varlet there again thrust his head out of a hole and pulled wry faces at my child ; but, dear reader, he got something to remember it by; for the Sheriff beckoned to the constable to fetch the fellow out, and after he had reproached him with the tricks he had twice played my child, the constable had to take the coachman his new whip and to give him fifty lashes, which, God knows, were not laid on with a feather. He bellowed like a bull, which, however, no one heard for the noise of the mill-wheels, and when at last he did as though he could not stir, we left him lying on the ground and went on our way.
As we drove through Uekeritze a number of people flocked together, but were quiet enough, save one fellow who, salra veniâ, mocked at us with unseemly gestures in the midst of the road when he saw us coming. The constable had to jump down again, but could not catch him, and the others would not give him up, but pretended that they had only looked at our coach and had not marked him. May be this was true! and I am therefore inclined to think that it was Satan himself who did it to mock at us; for mark, for God's sake, what happened to us on the Streckelberg! Alas! through the delusions of the foul fiend, we could not find the spot where we had dug for the amber. For when we came to where we thought it must be, a huge hill of sand had been heaped up as by a whirlwind, and the fir-twigs which my child had covered over it were gone. She was near falling in a swound when she saw this, and wrung her hands and cried out with her Saviour, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me!” . • Howbeit, the constable and the coachman were ordered to dig,
but not one bit of amber was to be found, even so big as a grain of corn, whereupon Dom. Consul shook his head and violently upbraided my child; and when I answered that Satan himself, As it seemed, had filled up the hollow in order to bring us altogether into his power, the constable was ordered to fetch a long stake out of the coppice which we might thrust still deeper into the sand. But no hard objectum was anywhere to be felt, notwithstanding the Sheriff, Dom. Consul, and myself in my anguish did try everywhere with the stake.
Hereupon my child besought her judges to go with her to Coserow, where she still had much amber in her coffer which she had found here, and that if it were the gift of the devil it would all be changed, since it was well known that all the presents the devil makes to witches straightway turn to mud and ashes.
But, God be merciful to us, God be merciful to us! when we returned to Coserow, amid the wonderment of all the village, and my daughter went to her coffer, the things therein were all tossed about, and the amber gone. Hereupon she shrieked so loud that it would have softened a stone, and cried out, « The wicked constable hath done this! when he fetched the salve out of my coffer, he stole the amber from me, unhappy maid." But the constable, who stood by, would have torn her hair, and cried out, " Thou witch, thou damned witch, is it not enough that thou hast belied my lord, but thou must now belie me too ?” But Dom. Consul forbade him, so that he did not dare lay hands upon her. Item, all the money was gone which she had hoarded up from the amber she had privately sold, and which she thought already came to about ten florins.
But the gown which she had worn at the arrival of the most illustrious King Gustavus Adolphus, as well as the golden chain with his effigy which he had given her, I had locked up as though it were a relie in the chest in the vestry, among the altar and pulpit cloths, and there we found them still; and when I escused myself therefore, saying that I had thought to have saved them up for her there against her bridal day, she gazed with fixed and glazed eyes into the box, and cried out, “ Yes, against the day when I shall be burnt; Oh, Jesu, Jesu, Jesu !" Hereat Dom. Consul shuddered and said, “ See how thou still dost smite thyself with thine own words. For the sake of God