Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

as the Saviour hath said, “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit” (Matt. vii.).

2. With regard to the witchcraft in the village, that belike was the contrivance of old Lizzie, seeing that she bore a great hatred towards Rea, and had long been in evil repute, for that the parishioners dared not to speak out, only from fear of the old witch; wherefore Zuter her little girl must be examined, who had heard old Lizzie her goodman tell her she had a familiar spirit, and that he would tell it to the parson ; for that notwithstanding the above-named was but a child, still it was written in Ps. viii., “ Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength ..;" and the Saviour himself appealed (Matt. xxi.) to the testimony of little children.

3. Furthermore, old Lizzie might have bewitched the crops, item, the fruit-trees, inasmuch as none could believe that Rea, who had ever shown herself a dutiful child, would have bewitched her own father's corn, or made caterpillars come on his trees; for no one, according to Scripture, can serve two masters.

Item, she (old Lizzie) might very well have been the woodpecker that was seen by Rea and old Paasch on the Streckelberg, and herself have given over her goodman to the Evil One for fear of the parson, inasmuch as Spitzel De Expugnatione Orci ! asserts; item, the Malleus Maleficarum,* proves beyond doubt, that the wicked children of Satan oft-times change themselves into all manner of beasts, as the foul fiend himself likewise seduced our first parents in the shape of a serpent (Gen. iii.).

5. That old Lizzie had most likely made the wild weather when Dom. Consul was coming home with Rea from the Streckelberg, seeing it was impossible that Rea could have done it, as she was sitting in the coach, whereas witches when they raise storms always stand in the water, and throw it over their heads backwards ; item, beat the stones soundly with a stick, as Hannold relates. Wherefore she too, may be, knew best about the frog and the hedgehog.

6. That Rea was erroneously charged with that as a crimen * The celebrated Hammer for Witches' of Innocent VIII., which appeared in 1489, and gave directions for the whole coure of proceeding to be observed at trials for witchcraft.

which ought rather to serve as her justification, namely, her sudden riches. For the Malleus Maleficarum expressly says that

a witch can never grow rich, seeing that Satan, to do dishonour i to God, always buys them for a vile price, so that they should

not betray themselves by their riches.* Wherefore that as Rea had grown rich, she could not have got her wealth from the foul fiend, but it must be true that she had found amber on the mountain ; that the spells of old Lizzie might have been the cause why they could not find the vein of amber again, or that the sea might have washed away the cliff below, as often happens, whereupon the top had slipped down, so that only a miraculum naturale had taken place. The proof which he brought forward from Scripture we have quite forgotten, seeing it was but middling.

7. With regard to her re-baptism, the old hag had said herself that she had not seen the devil or any other spirit or man about Rea, wherefore she might in truth have been only naturally bathing, in order to greet the King of Sweden next day, seeing that the weather was hot, and that bathing was not of itself sufficient to impair the modesty of a maiden. For that she had as little thought any would see her as Bathsheba the daughter of Eliam, and wife of Uriah the Hittite, who in like manner did bathe herself, as is written (2 Sam. xi. 2), without knowing that David could see her. Neither could her mark be a mark given by Satan, inasmuch as there was feeling therein; ergo, it must be a natural mole, and it was a lie that she had it not before bathing. Moreover, that on this point the old harlot was nowise to be believed, seeing that she had fallen from one contradiction into another about it, as stated in the Acta.

8. Neither was it just to accuse Rea of having bewitched Paasch his little daughter; for as old Lizzie was going in and out of the room, nay, even sat herself down on the little girl her belly when the pastor went to see her, it most likely was that wicked woman (who was known to have a great spite against Rea) that contrived the spell through the power of the foul

* The original words of the Hammer for Witches,' tom. i. quest. 18, in answer to the question, Cur maleficæ non ditentur ? are, Ut juxta complaceutiam damonis in contumeliam Creatoris, quantum possibile est, pro vilissimo pretio emantur, et secundo, ne in divitis notentur.

fiend, and by permission of the all-just God; for that Satan was “a liar and the father of it,” as our Lord Christ says (John viii.).

9. With regard to the appearance of the foul fiend on the mountain in the shape of a hairy giant, that indeed was the heaviest gravamen, inasmuch as not only old Lizzie, but likewise three trustworthy witnesses, had seen him. But who could tell whether it was not old Lizzie herself who had contrived this devilish apparition in order to ruin her enemy altogether; for that not. withstanding the apparition was not the young nobleman, as Reo had declared it to be, it still was very likely that she had not lied, but had mistaken Satan for the young lord, as he appeared in his shape; exemplum, for this was to be found even in Scripture: for that all Theologi of the whole Protestant Church were agreed, that the vision which the witch of Endor showed to King Saul was not Samuel himself, but the arch-fiend; nevertheless, Saul had taken it for Samuel. In like manner the old harlot might have conjured up the devil before Rea, who did not perceive that it was not the young lord, but Satan, who had put on that shape in order to seduce her; for as Rea was a fair woman, none could wonder that the devil gave himself more trouble for her than for an old withered hag, seeing he has ever sought after fair women to lie with them.*

Lastly, he argued that Rea was in nowise marked as a witch, for that she neither had bleared and squinting eyes nor a hooked nose, whereas old Lizzie had both, which Theophrastus Paracelsus declares to be an unfailing mark of a witch, saying, 6 Nature marketh none thus unless by abortion, for these are the chiefest signs whereby witches be known whom the spirit Asiendens hath subdued unto himself.”

When Dom. Syndicus had read his defensio, my daughter was so rejoiced thereat that she would have kissed his hand, but he snatched it from her and breathed upon it thrice, whereby we could easily see that he himself was nowise in earnest with his defensio. Soon after he took leave in an ill-humour, after commending her to the care of the Most High, and begged that I would make my farewell as short as might be, seeing that he purposed to return home that very day, the which, alas ! I very unwillingly did.

* Gen. vi. 2.

CHAPTER XXIII.

How my poor child was sentenced to be put to the question.

AFTER acta had been sent to the honourable the central court, about fourteen days passed over before any answer was received. My lord the Sheriff was especially gracious toward me the while, and allowed me to see my daughter as often as I would (seeing that the rest of the court were gone home), wherefore I was with her nearly all day. And when the constable grew impatient of keeping watch over me, I gave him a fee to lock me in together with my child. And the all-merciful God was gracious unto us, and caused us often and gladly to pray, for we had a steadfast hope, believing that the cross we had seen in the heavens would now soon pass away from us, and that the ravening wolf would receive his reward when the honourable high court had read through the acta, and should come to the excellent defensio which Dom. Syndicus had constructed for my child. Wherefore I began to be of good cheer again, especially when I saw my daughter her cheeks growing of a right lovely red. But on Thursday, 25th mensis Augusti, at noon, the worshipful court drove into the castle-yard again as I sat in the prison with my child, as I was wont; and old Ilse brought us our food, but could not tell us the news for weeping. But the tall constable peeped in at the door grinning, and cried, “ Oh, ho! they are come, they are come ; now the tickling will begin :" whereat my poor child shuddered, but less at the news than at sight of the fellow himself. Scarce was he gone than he came back again to take off her chains and to fetch her away. So I followed her into the judgment-chamber, where Dom. Consul read out the sentence of the honourable high court as follows:—that she should once more be questioned in kindness touching the articles contained in the indictment; and if she then continued stubborn she should be subjected to the peine forte et dure, for that the defensio she had set up did not suffice, and that there were indicia legitima, prægnantia et sufficientia ad torturam ipsam; to wit,

1. Mala fama.
2. Maleficium, publicè commissum.

3. Apparitio dæmonis in monte. Whereupon the most honourable central court cited about 20 auctores, whereof, howbeit, we remember but little. When Dom. Consul had read out this to my child, he once more lift up his voice and admonished her with many words to confess of her own free will, for that the truth must now come to light.

Hereupon she steadfastly replied, that after the defensio of Dom. Syndicus she had indeed hoped for a better sentence; but that, as it was the will of God to try her yet more hardly, she resigned herself altogether into his gracious hands, and could not confess aught save what she had said before, namely, that she was innocent, and that evil men had brought this misery upon her. Hereupon Dom. Consul motioned the constable, who straightway opened the door of the next room, and admitted Pastor Benzensis * in his surplice, who had been sent for by the court to admonish her still better out of the word of God. He heaved a deep sigh, and said, “ Mary, Mary, is it thus I must meet thee again!" Whereupon she began to weep bitterly, and to protest her innocence afresh. But he heeded not her distress ; and as soon as he had heard her pray, “Our Father," " the eyes of all wait upon thee,” and “ God the Father dwell with us," he lift up his voice and declared to her the hatred of the living God to all witches and warlocks, seeing that not only is the punishment of fire awarded to them in the Old Testament, but that the Holy Ghost expressly saith in the New Testament (Gal. v.), 66 That they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God ;” but “ shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death.” (Apocal. xxi.) Wherefore she must not be stubborn nor murmur against the court when she was tormented, seeing that it was all done out of Christian love, and to save her poor soul. That, for the sake of God and her salvation, she should no longer delay repentance, and thereby cause her body to be tormented and give over

* The minister at Bentz, a village situated at a short distance from Pudgla.

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »