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astonishment or my vexation at this costly prize. The manuscript, which was bound in vellum, was not only defective both at the beginning and at the end, but several leaves had even been torn out here and there in the middle. I scolded the old man as I had never done during the whole course of my life; but he excused himself, saying that one of

my predecessors had given him the manuscript for waste paper, as it had lain about there ever since the

memory man, and he had often been in want of paper to twist round the altar-candles, &c. The aged and half-blind pastor had mistaken the folio for old parochial accounts which could be of no more use to any one.

No sooner had I reached home than I fell to work upon my new acquisition, and after reading a bit here and there with considerable trouble, my interest was powerfully excited by the contents.

I soon felt the necessity of making myself better acquainted with the nature and conduct of these witch trials, with the proceedings, riay, even with the history of the whole period in which these events occur. But the more I read of these extraordinary stories, the more was I confounded; and neither the trivial Beeker (die bezauberte Welt, the enchanted world), nor the more careful Horst (Zauberbibliothek, the library of magic), to which, as well as to several other works on the same subject, I had flown for information, could resolve my doubts, but rather served to increase them.

Not alone is the demoniacal character, which pervades nearly all these fearful stories, so deeply marked, as to fill

* The original manuscript does indeed contain several accounts which at first sigħt 'may have led to this mistake; besides, the handwriting is extremely difficult to read, and in several places the paper is discoloured and decayed.

the attentive reader with feelings of alternate horror and dismay, but the eternal and unchangeable laws of human feeling and action are often arrested in a manner so violent and unforeseen, that the understanding is entirely baffled. For instance, one of the original trials which a friend of mine, a lawyer, discovered in our province, contains the aocount of a mother, who, after she had suffered the torture, and received the holy Sacrament, and was on the point of going to the ståke, so utterly lost all maternal feeling, that her conscience obliged her to accuse as a witch her only dearly loved daughter, a girl of fifteen, against whom no one had ever entertained a suspicion, in order, as she said, to save her poor soul. The court, justly amazed at an event which probably has never since been paralleled, caused the state of the mother's mind to be examined both by clergymen and physicians, whose original testimonies are still appended to the records, and are all highly favourable to her soundness of mind. The unfortunate daughter, whose name was Elizabeth Hegel, was actually executed on the strength of her mother's accusation.*

The explanation commonly received at the present day, that these phenomena were produced by means of animal magnetism, is utterly insufficient. How, for instance, could this account for the deeply demoniacal nature of old Lizzie Kolken as exhibited in the following pages ? It is utterly incomprehensible, and perfectly explains why the old pastor, notwithstanding the horrible deceits practised on him in the person of his daughter, retained as firm a faith in the truth of witcheraft as in that of the Gospel.

* It is my intention to publish this trial also, as it possesses very great psychological interest.

During the earlier centuries of the middle ages little was known of witchcraft. The crime of magic, when it did occur, was leniently punished. For instance, the council of Ancyra (314) ordained the whole punishment of witches to consist in expulsion from the Christian community. The Visigoths punished them with stripes, and Charlemagne, by advice of his bishops, confined them in prison until such time as they should sincerely repent.* It was not until very soon before the Reformation, that Innocent VIII. lamented that the complaints of universal Christendom against the evil practices of these women had become so general and so loud, that the most vigorous measures must be taken against them; and towards the end of the year 1489, he caused the notorious Hammer for Witches (Malleus Malleficarum) to be published, according to which proceedings were set on foot with the most fanatical zeal, not only in Catholic, but, strange to say, even in Protestant Christendom, which in other respects abhorred everything belonging to Catholicism. Indeed, the Protestants far outdid the Catholics in cruelty, until, among the latter, the nobleminded Jesuit, J. Spee, and among the former, but not until seventy years later, the excellent Thomasius, by degrees put a stop to these horrors.

After careful examination into the nature and characteristics of witchcraft, I soon perceived that among all these strange and often romantic stories, not one surpassed my “amber witch” in lively interest; and I determined to throw her adventures into the form of a romance. Fortunately, however, I was soon convinced that her story was already in itself the most interesting of all romances; and that I

* Horst, Zauberbibliothek, vi. p. 231.

should do far better to leave it in its original antiquated form, omitting whatever would be uninteresting to modern readers, or so universally known as to need no repetition. I have therefore attempted, not indeed to supply what is missing at the beginning and end, but to restore those leaves which have been torn out of the middle, imitating, as accurately as I was able, the language and manner of the old biographer, in order that the difference between the original narrative, and my own interpolations, might not be too evident. This I have done with much trouble, and after many

ineffectual attempts; but I refrain from pointing out the particular passages which I have supplied, so as not to disturb the historical interest of the greater part of my readers. For modern criticism, which has now attained to a degree of acuteness never before equalled, such a confession would be entirely superfluous, as critics will easily distinguish the passages where Pastor Schweidler speaks from those written by Pastor Meinhold.

I am, nevertheless, bound to give the public some account of what I have omitted, namely,

1st. Such long prayers as were not very remarkable for Christian unction.

2d. Well known stories out of the Thirty Years' War.

3d. Signs and wonders in the heavens, which were seen here and there, and which are recorded by other Pomeranian writers of these fearful times; for instance, by Micrælius.* But when these events formed part of the tale itself, as, for

* Vom Alten Pommerlande (of old Pomerania), book v.

During the earlier centuries of the middle ages little was known of witchcraft. The crime of magic, when it did occur, was leniently punished. For instance, the council of Ancyra (314) ordained the whole punishment of witches to consist in expulsion from the Christian community. The Visigoths punished them with stripes, and Charlemagne, by advice of his bishops, confined them in prison until such time as they should sincerely repent. * It was not until very soon before the Reformation, that Innocent VIII. lamented that the complaints of universal Christendom against the evil practices of these women had become so general and so loud, that the most vigorous measures must be taken against them; and towards the end of the year 1489, he caused the notorious Hammer for Witches (Malleus Malleficarum) to be published, according to which proceedings were set on foot with the most fanatical zeal, not only in Catholic, but, strange to say, even in Protestant Christendom, which in other respects abhorred everything belonging to Catholicism. Indeed, the Protestants far outdid the Catholics in cruelty, until, among the latter, the nobleminded Jesuit, J. Spee, and among the former, but not until seventy years later, the excellent Thomasius, by degrees put a stop to these horrors.

After careful examination into the nature and characteristics of witchcraft, I soon perceived that among all these strange and often romantic stories, not one surpassed my “amber witch" in lively interest; and I determined to throw her adventures into the form of a romance. Fortunately, however, I was soon convinced that her story was already in itself the most interesting of all romances; and that I

* Horst, Zauberbibliothek, vi. p. 231.

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