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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
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.
instance, the cross on the Streckelberg, I, of course, allowed them to stand.
4th. The specification of the whole income of the church at Coserow, before and during the terrible times of the Thirty Years' War.
5th. The enumeration of the dwellings left standing, after the devastations made by the enemy in every village throughout the parish.
6th. The names of the districts to which this or that member of the congregation had emigrated.
7th. A ground plan and description of the old Manse.
I have likewise here and there ventured to make a few changes in the language, as my author is not always consistent in the use of his words or in his orthography. The latter I have, however, with very few exceptions, retained.
And thus I lay before the gracious reader a work, glowing with the fire of heaven, as well as with that of hell.
my poor child.