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straightway came out of the bushes, and touched the wolves, each one with one finger, and crushed them so that nought was left of them save a grey powder. Hereupon the hand took me up, and carried me back to my meadow.”
Only think, beloved reader, how I felt when I heard all this, and about the dear nightingale too, which no one can doubt to have been the servant of God. I clasped my child with many tears, and told her what had happened to me, and we both won such courage and confidence as we had never yet felt, to the wonderment of Dom. Consul, as it seemed ; but the Sheriff turned as pale as a sheet when she stepped towards their worships and said, “ And now do with me as you will, the lamb fears not, for she is in the hands of the good shepherd !” Meanwhile Dom. Camerarius came in with the scriba, but was terrified as he chanced to touch my daughter's apron with the skirts of his coat; and stood and scraped at his coat as a woman scrapes a fish. At last, after he had spat out thrice, he asked the court whether it would not begin to examine witnesses, seeing that all the people had been waiting some time both in the castle and at the alehouse. Hereunto they agreed, and the constable was ordered to guard my child in his room, until it should please the court to summon her. I therefore went with her, but we had to endure much from the impudent rogue, seeing he was not ashamed to lay his arm round my child her shoulders, and to ask for a kiss in meâ presentiâ. But, before I could get out a word, she tore herself from him, and said, “Ah, thou wicked knave, must I complain of thee to the court; hast thou forgotten what thou hast already done to me?" To which he answered, laughing, “ See, see! how coy;" and still sought to persuade her to be more willing, and not to forget her own interest; for that he meant as well by her as his master ; she might believe it or not; with many other scandalous words besides which I have forgot ; for I took my child upon my knees and laid my head on her neck, and we sat and wept.
De confrontatione testium.
When we were summoned before the court again, the whole court was full of people, and some shuddered when they saw us, but others wept; my child told the same tale as before. But when our old Ilse was called, who sat on a bench behind, so that we had not seen her, the strength wherewith the Lord had gifted her was again at an end, and she repeated the words of our Saviour, “He that eateth bread with me hath lift up his heel against me:” and she held fast by my chair. Old Ilse, too, could not walk straight for very grief, nor could she speak for tears, but she twisted and wound herself about before the court, like a woman in travail. But when Dom. Consul threatened that the constable should presently help her to her words, she testified that my child had very often got up in the night, and called aloud upon the foul fiend.
Q. Whether she had ever heard Satan answer her?-R. She never had heard him at all.
Q. Whether she had perceived that Rea had a familiar spirit, and in what shape? She should think upon her oath, and speak the truth.-R. She had never seen one.
Q. Whether she had ever heard her fly up the chimney ?R. Nay, she had always gone softly out at the door.
Q. Whether she never at mornings had missed her broom or pitchfork?-R. Once the broom was gone, but she had found it again behind the stove, and may be left it there herself by mistake.
Q. Whether she had never heard Rea cast a spell, or wish harm to this or that person?—R. No, never ; she had always wished her neighbours nothing but good, and even in the time of bitter famine had taken the bread out of her own mouth to give it to others. Q. Whether she did not know the salve which had been found
in Rea her coffer?—R. Oh, yes! her young mistress had brought it back from Wolgast for her skin, and had once given her some when she had chapped hands, and it had done her a vast deal of good.
Q. Whether she had anything further to say?-R. No, nothing but good.
Hereupon my man Claus Neels was called up. He also came forward in tears, but answered every question with a “nay," and at last testified that he had never seen nor heard anything bad of my child, and knew naught of her doings by night, seeing that he slept in the stable with the horses; and that he firmly believed that evil folks—and here he looked at old Lizzie—had brought this misfortune upon her, and that she was quite innocent.
When it came to the turn of this old limb of Satan, who was to be the chief witness, my child again declared that she would not accept old Lizzie's testimony against her, and called upon the court for justice, for that she had hated her from her youth up, and had been longer by habit and repute a witch than she herself.
But the old hag cried out, “God forgive thee thy sins; the whole village knows that I am a devout woman, and one serving the Lord in all things;" whereupon she called up old Zuter Witthahn and my churchwarden Claus Bulk, who bore witness hereto. But old Paasch stood and shook his head; nevertheless when my child said, “ Paasch, wherefore dost thou shake thy head ?” he started, and answered, “Oh, nothing !"
Howbeit, Dom. Consul likewise perceived this, and asked him, whether he had any charge to bring against old Lizzie ; if 60, he should give glory to God, and state the same; item, it was competent to every one so to do; indeed the court required of him to speak out all he knew.
But from fear of the old dragon, all were still as mice, so that you might have heard the Aies buzz about the inkstand. I tben stood up, wretched as I was, and stretched out my arms over my amazed and faint-hearted people, and spake: “Can ye thus crucify me together with my poor child ? have I deserved this at your hands? Speak, then; alas, will none speak ?” I heard, indeed, how several wept aloud, but not one spake; and hereupon my poor child was forced to submit..
And the malice of the old hag was such that she not only accused my child of the most horrible witchcraft, but also reckoned to a day when she had given herself up to Satan to rob her of her maiden honour; and she said that Satan had, without doubt, then defiled her, when she could no longer heal the cattle, and when they all died. Hereupon my child said naught, save that she cast down her eyes and blushed deep for shame at such filthiness ; and to the other blasphemous slander which the old hag uttered with many tears, namely, that my daughter had given up her (Lizzie's) husband, body and soul, to Satan, she answered as she had done before. But when the old hag cane to her re-baptism in the sea, and gave out that while seeking for strawberries in the coppice she had recognised my child's voice, and stolen towards her, and perceived these devil's doings, my child fell in smiling, and answered, “Oh, thou evil woman! how couldst thou hear my voice speaking down by the sea, being thyself in the forest upon the mountain ? surely thou liest, seeing that the murmur of the waves would make that impossible.” This angered the old dragon, and seeking to get out of the blunder she fell still deeper into it, for she said, “I saw thee move thy lips, and from that I knew that thou didst call upon thy paramour the devil !" for my child straightway replied, “Oh, thou ungodly woman!' thou saidst thou wert in the forest when thou didst hear my voice; how then up in the forest couldst thou see whether I, who was below by the water, moved my lips or not?" —
Such contradictions amazed even Dom. Consul, and he began to threaten the old hag with the rack if she told such lies ; whereupon she answered and said, “ List, then, whither I lie! When she went naked into the water she had no mark on her body, but when she came out again I saw that she had between her breasts a mark the size of a silver penny, whence I perceived that the devil had given it her, although I had not seen him about her, nor, indeed, had I seen any one, either spirit or child of man, for she seemed to be quite alone.”
Hereupon the Sheriff, jumped up from his seat, and cried, "Search must straightway be made for this mark ;” whereupon Dom. Consul answered, “Yea, but not by us, but by two Women of good repute,” for he would not hearken to what my child said, that it was a mole, and that she had had it from her youth up, wherefore the constable his wife was sent for, and Dom. Consul muttered somewhat into her ear, and as prayers and tears were of no avail, my child was forced to go with her. Howbeit, she obtained this favour, that old Lizzie Kolken was not to follow her, as she would have done, but our old maid Ilse. I, too, went in my sorrow, seeing that I knew not what the women might do to her. She wept bitterly as they undressed her, and held her hands over her eyes for very shame.
Well-a-day, her body was just as white as my departed wife's; although in her childhood, as I remember, she was very yellow, and I saw with amazement the mole between her breasts, whereof I had never heard aught before. But she suddenly screamed violently and started back, seeing that the constable his wife, when nobody watched her, had run a needle into the mole, so deep that the red blood ran down over her breasts. I was sorely angered thereat, but the woman said that she had done it by order of the judge,* which, indeed, was true; for when we came back into court, and the Sheriff asked how it was, she testified that there was a mark of the size of a silver penny, of a yellowish colour, but that it had feeling, seeing that Rea had screamed aloud, when she had, unperceived, driven a needle therein. Meanwhile, however, Dom. Camerarius suddenly rose, and stepping up to my child, drew her eyelids asunder, and cried out, beginning to tremble, “Behold the sign which never fails :” † whereupon the whole court started to their feet, and looked at the little spot under her right eyelid which in truth had been left there by a stye, but this none would believe. Dom. Consul now said, “ See, Satan hath marked thee on body and soul! and thou dost still continue to lie unto the Holy Ghost; but it shall not avail thee, and thy punishment will only be the heavier. Oh, thou shameless woman! thou hast refused to accept the testimony of old Lizzie; wilt thou also refuse that of these people, who have all heard thee on the mountain call upon
* It was believed that these marks were the infallible sign of a witch when they were insensible, and that they were given by the devil; and every one suspected of witchcraft was invariably searched for them.
† See, among other authorities, ‘Delrio, Disquisit. magicæ,' lib. v. tit. xiv. No. 28.