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SIDONIATHE SORCERESS 



THE SUPPOSED DESTROYER OF THE WHOLE 
REIGNING DUCAL HOUSE OF 
POMERANIA 



TRANSLATED BY LADY WILDE 

MARY SCHWEIDLER 

THE AMBER WITCH 



BY 

WILLIAM MEINHOLD 

DOCTOR OP THBOLOGY 



IN TWO VOLUMES 
VOL. I, 



LONDON 
REEVES AND TURNER 

WELUNGTON STREET, STRAND 
1894 

{All X^gkts rtsrrved] 



DEDICATION OF THE GERMAN EDITION. 



TO THE ILLUSTRIOUS 

LADY LUCY DUFF GORDON, 

THE 

YOUNG AND GIFTED TRANSLATOR 
OF 

I" THE AMBER WITCH," 
THIS WORK IS RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED. 



323490 



PREFACE 



AMONGST all the trials for witchcraft with which we 
^ are acquainted, few have attained so great a celebrity 
as that of the Lady Canoness of Pomerania, Sidonia 
von Bork. She was accused of having by her sorceries caused 
sterility in many families, particularly in that of the ancient 
reigning house of Pomerania, and also of having destroyed the 
noblest scions of that house by an early and premature death. 
Notwithstanding the intercessions and entreaties of the Prince 
of Brandenburg and Saxony, and of the resident Pomeranian 
nobility, she was publicly executed for these crimes on the 
19th of August 1620, on the public scaffold, at Stettin; the 
only favour granted being, that she was allowed to be beheaded 
first and then burned. 

This terrible example caused such a panic of horror, that 
contemporary authors scarcely dare to mention her name, and, 
even then, merely by giving the initials. This forbearance 
arose partly from respect towards the ancient family of the 
Von Borks, who then, as now, were amongst the most illus- 
trious and wealthy in the land, and also from the fear of 
offending the reigning ducal family, as the Sorceress, in her 
youth, had stood in a very near and tender relation to the 
young Duke Ernest Louis von Pommern- Wolgast. 

These reasons will be sufficiently comprehensible to all 
who are familiar with the disgust and aversion in which the 
paramours of the evil one were held in that age, so that even 
upon the rack these subjects were scarcely touched upon. 

vii 



viü 



PREFACE 



The first public, judicial, yet disconnected account of Si- 
donia's trial, we find in the Pomeranian Library of Dähnert, 
fourth volume, article 7, July number of the year 1755. 

Dähnert here acknowledges, page 241, that the numbers 
from 302 to 1080, containing the depositions of the witnesses, 
were not forthcoming up to his time, but that a priest in 
Pansin, near Stargard, by name Justus Sagebaum, pretended 
to have them in his hands, and accordingly, in the fifth 
volume of the above-named journal (article 4, of April 1756), 
some very important extracts appear from them. 

The records, however, again disappeared for nearly a 
century, until Barthold announced, some short time since,* 
that he had at length discovered them in the Berlin Library ; 
but he does not say which, for, according to Schwalen- 
berg, who quotes Dähnert, there existed two or three dif- 
ferent copies, namely, the Protocollum Jodoci Neumarks^ the 
so-called Acta Lothmannt^ and that of Adanu Moesters^ 
contradicting each other in the most important matters. 
Whether I have drawn the history of my Sidonia from one 
or other of the above-named sources, or from some entirely 
new, or, finally, from that alone which is longest known, I 
shall leave undecided. 

Every one who has heard of the animadversions which 
"The Amber Witch" excited, many asserting that it was 
only dressed-up history, though I repeatedly assured them it 
was simple fiction, will pardon me if I do not here distinctly 
declare whether Sidonia be history or fiction. 

The truth of the material, as well as of the formal contents, 
can be tested by any one by referring to the authorities I have 
named ; and in connection with these, I must just remark, that 
in order to spare the reader any difficulties which might pre- 
sent themselves to eye and ear, in consequence of the old- 
fashioned mode of writing, I have modernised the orthography, 
and amended the grammar and structure of the phrases. And 
♦ ** History of Rügen and Pomerania," vol iv. p. 486. 



PREFACE 



ix 



lastly, I trust that all just thinkers of every party will pardon 
me for having here and there introduced my supernatural views 
of Christianity. A man's principles, as put forward in his 
philosophical writings, are in general only read by his own 
party, and not by that of his adversaries. A Rationalist will 
fly from a book by a Supernaturalist as rapidly as this latter 
from one by a Friend of Light. But by introducing my views 
in the manner I have adopted, in place of publishing them in 
a distinct volume, I trust that all parties will be induced to 
peruse them, and that many will find, not only what is worthy 
their particular attention, but matter for deep and serious re- 
flection. 

I must now give an account of those portraits of Sidonia 
which are extant. 

As far as I know, three of these (besides innumerable 
sketchesXßxiÄt, one in Stettin, the other in the lower Pome- 
ranian toiötfffl^lathe, and a third at Stargord, near Regenwalde, 
in the castle of the Count von Bork. I am acquainted only 
with the last-named picture, and agree with many in thinking 
that it is the only original. 

Sidonia is here represented in the prime of mature beauty 
— a gold net is drawn over her almost golden yellow hair, 
and her neck, arms, and hands are profusely covered with 
jewels. Her bodice of bright purple is trimmed with costly 
fiir, and the robe is of azure velvet. In her hand she carries 
a sort of pompadour of brown leather, of the most elegant 
form and finish. Her eyes and mouth are not pleasing, not- 
withstanding their great beauty — in the mouth, particularly, 
one can discover an expression of cold malignity. 

The painting is beautifully executed, and is evidently of the 
school of Louis Kranach. 

Immediately behind this form there is another looking over 
the shoulder of Sidonia, like a terrible spectre (a highly 
poedcal idea), for this spectre is Sidonia herself painted as a 
Sorceress. It must have been added, after a lapse of niany 



X 



PREFACE 



years, to the youthful portrait, which belongs, as I have said, 
to the school of Kranach, whereas the second figure portrays 
unmistakably the school of Rubens. It is a fearfully char- 
acteristic painting, and no imagination could conceive a con- 
trast more shudderingly awful. The Sorceress is arrayed in 
her death garments — ^white with black stripes ; and round her 
thin white locks is bound a narrow band of black velvet 
spotted with gold. In her hand is a kind of a work-basket, 
but of the simplest workmanship and form. 

Of the other portraits I cannot speak from my own personal 
inspection ; but to judge by the drawings taken from them to 
which I have had access, they appear to differ completely, not 
only in costume, but in the character of the countenance, from 
the one I have described, which there is no doubt must be 
the original, not only because it bears all the characteristics of 
that school of painting which approached nearest to the age in 
which Sidonia lived — namely, from 1540 to 1620 — but also 
by the fact that a sheet of paper bearing an inscription was 
found behind the painting, betraying evident marks of age in 
its blackened colour, the form of the letters, and the expres- 
sions employed. The inscription is as follows : — 

" This Sidonia von Bork was in her youth the most beau- 
tiful and the richest of the maidens of Pomerania. She in- 
herited many estates from her parents, and thus was in her 
own right a possessor almost of a county. So her pride 
increased, and many noble gentlemen who sought her in 
marriage were rejected with disdain, as she considered that a 
count or prince alone could be worthy of her hand. For these 
reasons she attended the Duke's court frequently, in the 
hopes of winning over one of the seven young princes to her 
love. At length she was successful ; Duke Ernest Louis 
von Wolgast, aged about twenty, and the handsomest youth 
in Pomerania, became her lover, and even promised her his 
hand in marriage. This promise he would faithfully have 
kept if the Stettin princes, who were displeased at the pros- 



PREFACE 



xi 



pect of this unequal alliance, had not induced him to abandon 
Sidonia, by means of the portrait of the Princess Hedwig 
of Brunswick, the most beautiful princess in all Germany. 
Sidonia thereupon fell into such despair, that she resolved to 
renounce marriage for ever, and bury the remainder of her 
life in the convent of Marienfliess, and thus she did. But the 
wrong done to her by the Stettin princes lay heavy upon her 
heart, and the desire for revenge increased with years ; besides, 
in place of reading the Bible, her private hours were passed 
studying the Amadis^ wherein she found many examples of 
how forsaken maidens have avenged themselves upon their 
false lovers by means of magic. So she at last yielded to 
the temptations of Satan, and after some years learned the 
secrets of witchcraft from an old woman. By means of this 
unholy knowledge, along with several other evil deeds, she so 
bewitched the whole princely race that the six young princes, 
who were each wedded to a young wife, remained childless ; 
but no public notice was taken until Duke Francis succeeded 
to the duchy in 1618. He was a ruthless enemy to witches ; 
all in the land were sought out with great diligence and 
b\u*ned, and as they unanimously named the Abbess of 
Marienfliess* upon the rack, she was brought to Stettin by 
command 'of the Duke, where she freely confessed all the 
evil wrought by her sorceries upon the princely race. 

The Duke promised her life and pardon if she would free 
the other princes from the ban ; but her answer was that 
she had enclosed the spell in a padlock, and flung it into the 
sea, and having asked the devil if he could restore the padlock 
again to her, he replied, * No ; that was forbidden to him ; ' 
by which every one can perceive that the destiny of God was 
in the matter. 

And so it was that, notwithstanding the intercession of 

* Sidonia never attained this dignity, though Micraelius and others 
gave her the title. 



PREFACE 



all the neighbouring courts, Sidonia was brought to the scaf- 
fold at Stettin, there beheaded, and afterwards burned. 

" Before her death the Prince ordered her portrait to be 
painted, in her old age and prison garb, behind that which 
represented her in the prime of youth. After his death, 
BogisIafF XIV., the last Duke, gave this picture to my 
grandmother, whose husband had also been killed by the 
Sorceress. My father received it from her, and I from 
him, along with the story which is here written down.* 

" Henry Gustavus Schwalenberg." 



• The style of this " Inscription" proves it to have been written in 
the beginning of the preceding century, but it is first noticed by Däh- 
nert I have had his version compared with the original in Stargord 
— through the kindness of a friend, who assures me that the transcription 
is perfectly correct, and yet can he be mistaken? for Horst (Magic 
Library, vol. ii. p. 246), gives the conclusion thus: "From whom 
my father received it, and I from him, along with the story precisely as 
given here by H. G. Schwalenberg." By this reading, which must have 
escaped my friend, a different sense is given to the passage ; by the 
last reading it would appear that the ** I " was a Bork, who had taken 
the tale from Schwalenberg*s history of the Pomeranian Dukes, a work 
which exists only in manuscript, and to which I have had no access ; 
but if we admit the first reading, then the writer must be a Schwa- 
lenberg. Even the "grandmother" will not clear up the matter, for 
Sidonia, when put to the torture, confessed, at the seventh question, that 
she had caused the death of Doctor Schwalenberg (he was counsellor 
in Stettin then), and at the eleventh question, that her brother's son. 
Otto Bork, had died also by her means. Who then is this " I " ? Even 
Sidonia's picture, we see, utters mysteries. 

In my opinion the writer was Schwalenberg, and Horst seems to have 
taken his version ft-om Paulis's " General History of Pomerania," vol iv. 
p. 396, and not from the original of Dähnert 

For the picture at that early period was not in the possession of a 
Bork, but belonged to the Count von Mellin in Schillersdorf, as passages 
from many authors can testify. This is confirmed by another paper 
found along with that containing the tradition, but of much more modem 
appearance, which states that the piaure was removed by successive 



PREFACE 



idii 



inheritors, first from Schillersdorf to Stargord, from thence to Heinrichs- 
berg (there are three towns in Pomerania of this name), and finally from 
Heinrichsberg, in the year 1834, was a second time removed to Stargord 
by the last inheritor. 
This Schillersdorf lies between Gartz and Stettin on the Oder. 



William Meinhold. 



LETTER OF DR. THEODORE PLÖNNIES 



to bogislaff the fourteenth, the last 
Duke of Pomerania. 

Most Eminent Prince and Gracious Lord, — Serene 
Prince, your Highness gave me a commission in past years 
to travel through all Pomerania, and if I met with any per- 
sons who could give me certain "information" respecting 
the notorious and accursed witch Sidonia von Bork, to set 
down carefully all they stated, and bring it afterwards into 
connexum for your Highness. It is well known that Duke 
Francis, of blessed memory, never would permit the accursed 
deeds of this woman to be made public, or her confession 
upon the rack, fearing to bring scandal upon the princely 
house. But your Serene Highness viewed the subject differ- 
ently, and said that it was good for every one, but especially 
princes, to look into the clear mirror of history, and behold 
there the faults and follies of their race. For this reason may 
no truth be omitted here. 

To such princely commands I have proved myself obedient, 
collecting all information, whether good or evil, and con- 
cealing nothing. But the greater number who related these 
things to me could scarcely speak for tears, for wherever I 
travelled throughout Pomerania, as the faithful servant of 
your Highness, nothing was heard but lamentations from old 
and young, rich and poor, that this execrable Sorceress, out 
of Satanic wickedness, had destroyed this illustrious race, who 

XV 



xvi , LETTER TO BOGISLAFF XIV. 

had held their lands from no emperor, in feudal tenure, like 
other German princes, but in their own right, as absolute 
lords, since five hundred years, and though for twenty years 
it seemed to rest upon five goodly princes, yet by permission 
of the incomprehensible God, it has now melted away until 
your Highness stands the last of his race, and no prospect is 
before us that it will ever be restored, but with your High- 
ness (God have mercy upon us ! ) will be utterly extinguished, 
and for ever. " Woe to us, how have we sinned ! " ( Lament, 
v. i6y 

I pray therefore the all-mercifiil God, that He will re- 
move me before your Highness from this vale of tears, that 
I may not behold the last hour of your Highness or of my 
poor ^therland. Rather than witness these things, I would 
a thousand times sooner lie quiet in my grave. 

* Marginal note of Duke Bogislaff XIV.— "In tuas manus com- 
mendo spiritum meum, quia tu me redemisti fide deus." 



CONTENTS 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS. 



BOOK I. 

FJ^OM THE RECEPTION OF SIDONIA AT THE 
DUCAL COURT OF WOLGAST UNTIL HER 
BANISHMENT THEREFROM, 

CHAPTER I. 

PAGE 



Of the education of Sidonia 3 - 

CHAPTER II. 

Of the bear-hunt at Stramehl, and the strange things that befell 

there 10 

CHAPTER III. 

How Otto von Bork received the homage of his son-in-law, 
Vidante von Meseritz — And how the bride and bridegroom 



proceeded afterwards to the chapel — Item, what strange 



things happened at the wedding-feast 17 

CHAPTER IV. 

How Sidonia came to the court at Wolgast, and of what further 

happened to her there 34 



VOL. 1. xvii ^ 



xviii 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER V. 

PAGE 

Sidonia knows nothing of God's Word, but seeks to learn it from 

the young Prince of Wolgast 40 



CHAPTER VI. 

How the young Prince prepared a petition to his mother, the 
Duchess, in favour of Sidonia — Item, of the strange doings 
of the Laplander with his magic drum 48 



CHAPTER VII. 

How Ulrich von Schwerin buries his spouse, and Doctor Ger- 

schovius comforts him out of God's Word .... 54 



CHAPTER VIII. 

How Sidonia rides upon the pet stag, and what evil consequences 

result therefrom 62 



CHAPTER IX. 

How Sidonia makes the young Prince break his word— Item, 
how Clara von Dewitz in vain tries to turn her from her evil 
ways 69 



CHAPTER X. 

How Sidonia wished to learn the mystery of love-potions, but is 

hindered by Clara and the young Prince .... 78 



CHAPTER XI. 



How Sidonia repeated the catechism of Dr. Gerschovius, and how 
she whipped the young Casimir, out of pure evil-mindedness . 86 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER XII. 

PAGE 

Of Appelmann's knavery — Item, how the birthday of her High- 
ness was celebrated, and Sidonia managed to get to the 
dance, with the uproar caused thereby 93 



CHAPTER XIII. 

How Sidonia is sent away to Stettin — Item, of the young lord's 

dangerous illness, and what happened in consequence . . 106 



CHAPTER XIV. 

How Duke Barnim of Stettin and Otto Bork accompany Sidonia 

back to Wolgast 120 



CHAPTER XV. 

Of the grand battue, and what the young Duke and Sidonia 

resolved on there 127 



CHAPTER XVI. 

How the ghost continued to haunt the castle, and of its daring 
behaviour — Item, how the yoimg lord regained his strength, 
and was able to visit Crummyn, with what happened to him 
there 139 



CHAPTER XVII. 

Of Ulrich's counsels — Item, how Clara von Dewitz came upon 

the track of the ghost 151 



CHAPTER XVIII. 



How the horrible wickedness of Sidonia was made apparent ; and 
how in consequence thereof she was banished with ignominy 
from the ducal court of Wolgast . . . , . .159 



XX 



CONTENTS 



BOOK II. 

FROM THE BANISHMENT OF SIDONIA FROM THE 
DUCAL COURT OF WOLGAST UP TO HER 
RECEPTION IN THE CONVENT OF 
MARIENFLIESS. 



CHAPTER I. 

PAGE 

Of the quarrel between Otto Bork and the Stargardians, which 

caused him to demand the dues upon the Jena . , , 175 



CHAPTER n. 

How Otto von Bork demands the Jena dues from the Star- 
gardians, and how the burgomaster Jacob Appelmann takes 
him prisoner, and locks him up in the Red Sea , , , 185 



CHAPTER HI. 

Of Otto Bork's dreadful suicide — Item, how Sidonia and Jobann 

Appelmann were brought Ijefore the ljurgomaster . . . 197 



CHAPTER IV. 

How Sidonia meets Claude Uckermann again, and solicits him 
to wed her — Item, what he answered, and how my gracious 
Lord of Stettin received her 204 



CHAPTER V. 



How they went on meantime at Wolgast — Item, of the Diet at 

WoUin, and what happened there 210 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER \X 

PAGE 

How Sidooia is again discovered with the groom, Johann Appel- 

mann 21g 



CHAPTER VII. 

Of the distress in Pomeranian land — Item, how Sidonia and 
Johann Appehnann determine to join the robbers in the 
vicinity of Stargard 225 



CHAPTER VIII. 

How Johann and Sidonia meet an adventure at Alten Damm — 

Item, of their reception by the robber-band .... 231 



CHAPTER IX. 

How his Highness, Duke Barnim the elder, went a-hawking at 
Marienfliess — Item, of the shameful robbery at Zachan, 
and how burgomaster Appelmann remonstrates with his 
abandoned son 238 



CHAPTER X. 

How the robbers attack Prince Ernest and his bride in the Ucker- 
mann forest, and Marcus Bork and Dinnies Kleist come to 
their rescue 247 



CHAPTER XI. 

Of the ambassadors in the tavern of Mutzelburg — Item, how the 
miller, Konnemann, is discovered, and made by Dinnies 
Kleist to act as guide to the robber cave, where they find all 
the women-folk lying apparently dead, through some devil's 
magic of the gipsy mother 255 



xxii 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER XII. 

PAGE 

How the peasants in Marienfliess want to burn a witch, but are 
hindered by Johann Appelmann and Sidonia, who discover 
ap old acqu9,intance in the witch, the girl Wolde Albrechts . 259 



CHAPTER XIII. 

Of the adventure with the boundary lads, and how one of them 
promises to admit Johann Appelmann into the castle of 
Daber that same night — Item, of what befell amongst the 
guests at the castle 269 



CHAPTER XIV. 

How the knave Appelmann seizes his Serene Eminence Duke 
Johann by the throat, and how his Grace and the whole 
castle are saved by Marcus Bork and his young bride Clara ; 
also, how Sidonia at last is taken prisoner .... 279 



CHAPTER XV. 

How Sidonia demeans herself at the castle of Saatzig, and how 
Clara forgets the injunctions of her beloved husband, when 
he leaves her to attend the Diet at WoUin, on the subject of 
the courts — Item, how the Serene Prince Duke Johann 
Frederick beheads his court fool with a sausage . . . 289 



CHAPTER XVI. 

How Sidonia makes poor Clara appear quite dead, and of the 
great mourning at Saatzig over her burial, while Sidonia 
dances on fier coffin and sings the 109th psalm— Item, of the 
sermon, and the anathema pronounced upon a wicked sinner 
from the altar of the church 299 



CHAPTER XVII. 



How Sidonia is chased by the wolves to Rehewinkel, and finds 
Johann Appelmann again in the inn, with whom she goes 
away a second time by night 308 



CONTENTS 



xxiii 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

PAGE 

How a new leaf is turned over at Bruchhausen in a very fearful 
manner — Old Appelmann takes his worthless son prisoner, 
and admonishes him to repentance — Of Johann's wonderful 
conversion, and execution next morning in the churchyard, 
Sidonia being present thereby 316 



CHAPTER XIX. 

Of Sidonia's disappearance for thirty years — Item, how the young 
Princess Elizabeth Magdelene was possessed by a devil, and 
of the sudden death of her father, Ernest Ludovicus of 
Pomerania 328 



CHAPTER XX. 

How Sidonia demeans herself at the Convent of Marienfliess — 
Item, how their Princely and Electoral Graces of Pomerania, 
Brandenburg, and Mecklenburg, went on sleighs to Wolgast, 
and of the divers pastimes of the journey .... 339 



CHAPTER XXI. 

How Sidonia meets their Graces upon the ice— Item, how Dinnies 
Kleist beheads himself, and my gracious lord of Wolgast 
perishes miserably 346 



CHAPTER XXII. 

How Barnim the Tenth succeeds to the government, and how 
Sidonia meets him as she is gathering bilberries— Item, of 
the imnatural Mdtch-storm at his Grace's funeral, and how 
Duke Casimir refuses, in consequence, to succeed him . . 353 



CHAPTER XXIII. 



Duke Bogislaflf XIII. accepts the government of the duchy, and 
gives Sidonia at last the long-desired prcsbenda — Item, of her 
arrival at the convent of Marienfliess 359 



xxiv 



CONTENTS 



BOOK III. 

FROM THE RECEPTION OF SIDONIA INTO THE 
CONVENT AT MARIENFLIESS UP TILL HER 
EXECUTION, AUGUST \^th. 1620. 



CHAPTER I. 

PACK 

How the sub-prioress, Dorothea Stettin, visits Sidonia and extols 
her virtue — Item, of Sidonia's quarrel with the dairy-woman, 
and how she beats the sheriff himself, Eggert Sparling, with 
a broom-stick 371 



CHAPTER n. 

How Sidonia visits the abbess, Magdalena von Petersdorf, and 
explains her wishes, but is diverted to other objects by a sight 
of David Ludeck, the chaplain to the convent . . . 381 



CHAPTER HI. 

Sidonia tries another way to catch the priest, but fails through a 
mistake— Item, of her horrible spell, whereby she bewitched 
the whole princely race of Pomerania, so that, to the grievous 
sorrow of their fatherland, they remain barren even unto this 
day 390 



BOOK L 



FROM THE RECEPTION OF SIDONIA AT THE 
DUCAL COURT OF WOLGAST UNTIL HER 
BANISHMENT THEREFROM. 



VOL. L 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



CHAPTER 1. 

Of the education of Sidonta, 

The illustrious and high-bom prince and lord, BogislafF, 
fourteenth Duke of Pomerania, Prince of Cassuben, Wenden, 
and Rügen, Count of Giizkow, Lord of the lands of Lauen- 
burg and Butow, and my gracious feudal seigneur, having 
commanded me. Dr. Theodore Plönnies, formerly bailiff at 
the ducal court, to make search throughout all the land for 
information respecting the world-famed sorceress, Sidonia von 
Bork, and write down the same in a book, I set out for 
Stargard, accompanied by a servant, early one Friday after 
the Visitattonis Mariay 1629 ; for, in my opinion, in order to 
form a just judgment respecting the chaiacter of any one, it 
is necessary to make one's self acquainted with the circum- 
stances of their early life ; the future man lies enshrined in 
the child, and the peculiar development of each individual 
nature is the result entirely of education. Sidonia's history 
is a remarkable proof of this. I visited first, therefore, the 
scenes of her early years ; but almost all who had known her 
were long since in their graves, seeing that ninety years had 
passed since the time of her birth. However, the old inn- 
keeper at Stargard, Zabel Wiese, himself very far advanced 
in years (whom I can recommend to all travellers — he lives 
in the Pelzerstrasse), told me that the old bachelor, Claude 
Uckermann of Dalow, an aged man of ninety-two years old, 

3 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



was the only person who could give me the information I 
desired, as in his youth he had been one of the many followers 
of Sidonia. His memory was certainly well nigh gone from 
age, still all that had happened in the early period of his life 
lay as fresh as the Lord's Prayer upon his tongue. Mine 
host also related some important circumstances to me myself, 
which shall appear in their proper place. 

I accordingly proceeded to Dalow, a little town half a 
mile from Stargard, and visited Claude Uckermann. I found 
him seated by the chimney corner, his hair as white as snow. 
" What did I want ? He was too old to receive strangers ; 
I must go on to his son Wedig's house, and leave him in 
quiet," &c. &c. But when I said that I brought him a 
greeting from his Highness, his manner changed, and he 
pushed the seat over for me beside the fire, and began to 
chat first about the fine pine-trees, from which he cut his 
firewood — ^they were so full of resin ; and how his son, a 
year before, had found an iron pot in the turf moor under a 
tree, full of bracelets and earrings, which his little grand- 
daughter now wore. 

When he had tired himself out, I communicated what his 
Highness had so nobly commanded to be done, and prayed 
him to relate all he knew and could remember of this detest- 
able sorceress, Sidonia von Bork. He sighed deeply, and 
then went on talking for about two hours, giving me all his 
recollections just as they started to his memory. I have 
arranged what he then related, in proper order. It was to 
the following effect : — 

Whenever his father, Philip Uckermann, attended the fair 
at Stramehl, a town belonging to the Bork family, he was in 
the habit of visiting Otto von Bork at his castle, who, being 
very rich, gave free quarters to all the young noblemen of the 
vicinity, so that from thirty to forty of them were generally 
assembled at his castle while the fair lasted ; but after some 
time his father discontinued these visits, his conscience not 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 5 



permitting him further intercourse. The reason was this. 
Otto von Bork, during his residence in Poland, had joined 
the sect of the enthusiasts,* and had lost his faith there, as a 
young maiden might her honour. He made no secret of his 
new opinions, but openly at Martinmas fair, 1 560, told the 
young nobles at dinner that Christ was but a man like other 
people, and ignorance alone had elevated Him to a God ; 
which notion had been encouraged by the greed and avarice 
of the clergy. They should therefore not credit what the 
hypocritical priests chattered to them every Sunday, but 
believe only what reason and their five senses told them was 
truth, and that, in fine, if he had his will, he would send 
every priest to the devil. 

All the young nobles remained silent but Claude Zastrow, 
a feudal retainer of the Borks, who rose up (it was an evil 
moment to him) and made answer : " Most powerful feudal 
lord, were the holy aposties then filled with greed and covet- 
ousness, who were the first to proclaim that Christ was God, 
and who left all for His sake ? Or the early Christians who, 
with one accord, sold their possessions, and gave the price to 
the poor ? " Claude had before this displeased the knight, 
who now grew red with anger at the insolence of his vassal 
in thus answering him, and replied : If they were not 
preachers for gain, they were at least stupid fellows." 
Hereupon a great murmur arose in the hall, but the aforesaid 
Zastrow is not silenced, and answered : " It is surprising, 
then, that the twelve stupid aposties performed more than 
twelve times twelve Greek or Roman philosophers. The 
knight might rage until he was black in the face, and strike 
the table. But he had better hold his tongue and use his 
understanding; though, after all, the intellect of a man 
who believed nothing but what he received through his 
five senses was not worth much ; for the brute beasts were 

* Probably the sect afterwards named Socinians ; for we find that Lae- 
lius Socinus taught in Poland, even before Melancthon's death (1560). 



6 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



his equals, inasmuch as they received no evidence either but 
from the senses." 

Then Otto sprang up raging, and asked him what he 
meant ; to which the other answered : " Nothing more than 
to express his opinion that man differed from the brute, not 
through his understanding, but by his faith, for that animals 
had evidently understanding, but no trace of faith had ever 
yet been discovered in them." * 

* This axiom is certainly opposed to modem ontology, which denies 
all ideas to the brute creation, and explains each proof of their intel- 
lectual activity by the unintelligible word "instinct." The ancients 
held very different opinions, particularly the new Platonists, one of 
whom (Porphyry, liber ii. De abstinentia) treats largely of the intellect 
and language of animals. Since Cartesius, however, who denied not 
only understanding, but even feeling, to animals, and represented them 
as mere animated machines {De passionib. Pars i. Artie, iv. et de 
Methodo, No. 5, page 29, &c.), these views upon the psychology of 
animals produced the most mischievous results ; for they were carried 
out until if not feeling, at least intellect, was denied to all animals more 
or less; and modern philosophy at length arrived at denying intelli- 
gence even to God, in whom and by whom, as formerly, man no longer 
attains to consciousness, but it is by man and through man that God 
arrives to a conscious intelligent existence. Some philosophers ofourtime, 
indeed, are condescending enough to ascribe Understanding to animals 
and Reason to man as the generic difference between the two. But I 
cannot comprehend these new-fashioned distinctions; for it seems to 
me absurd to split into the two portions of reason and understanding 
one and the same spiritual power, according as the object on which it 
acts is higher or lower ; just as if we adopted two names for the same 
hand that digs up the earth and directs the telescope to heaven, or 
maintained that the latter was quite a different hand from the former. 
No. There is but one understanding for man and beasts, as but one 
common substance for their material forms. The more perfect the form, 
so much the more perfect is the intellect ; and human and animal 
intellects are only dynamically different in human and animal bodies. 

And even if, among animals of the more perfect form, understanding 
has been discovered, yet in man alone has been found the innate 
feeling of connection with the supernatural, or Faith. If this, as the 
generic sign of difference, be called Reason, I have nothing to object, 
except that the word generally conveys a different meaning. But Faith 
is, in fact, the pure Reason, and is found in all men, existing alike in 
the lowest superstitions as well as in the highest natures. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



Otto's rage now knew no bounds, and he drew his dagger, 
roaring, **What! thou insolent knave, dost thou dare to 
compare thy feudal lord to a brute ? " And before the other 
had time to draw his poignard to defend himself, or the 
guests could in any way interfere to prevent him, Otto 
stabbed him to the heart as he sat there by the table. ( It 
was a blessed death, I think, to die for his Lord Christ.) 
And so he fell down upon the floor with contorted features, 
and hands and feet quivering with agony. Every one was 
struck dumb with horror at such a death ; but the knight 
laughed loudly, and cried, " Ha ! thou base-born serf, I shall 
teach thee how to liken thy feudal lord to a brute," and 
striding over his quivering limbs, he spat upon his face. 

Then the murmuring and whispering increased in the hall, 
and those nearest the door rushed out and sprang upon their 
horses ; and finally all the guests, even old Uckermann, fled 
away, no one venturing to take up the quarrel with Otto 
Bork. After that, he fell into disrepute with the old 
nobility, for which he cared little, seeing that his riches and 
magnificence always secured him companions enough, who 
were willing to listen to his wisdom, and were consoled by 
his wine. 

And when I, Dr. Theodore Plönnies, inquired from the 
old bachelor if his Serene Highness had not punished the 
noble for his shameful crime, he replied that his wealth and 
powerful influence protected him. At least it was whispered 
that justice had been blinded with gold ; and the matter was 
probably related to the prince in quite a different manner from 
the truth ; for I have heard that a few years after, his High- 
ness even visited this godless knight at his castle in Stramehl. 

As to Otto, no one observed any sign of repentance in 
him. On the contrary, he seemed to glory in his crime, and 
the neighbouring nobles related that he frequently brought in 
his little daughter Sidonia, whom he adored for her beauty, 
to the assembled guests, magnificently attired ; and when she 



8 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



was bowing to the company, he would say, " Who art thou, 
my little daughter ? Then she would cease the salutations 
which she had learned from her mother, and drawing herself 
up, proudly exclaim, " I am a noble maiden, dowered with 
towns and castles ! Then he would ask, if the conversa- 
tion turned upon his enemies — ^and half the nobles were so— 
"Sidonia, how does thy father treat his enemies?" Upon 
which the child would straighten her finger, and running at 
her father, strike it into his heart, saying, " Thus he treats 
them." At which Otto would laugh loudly, and tell her to 
show him how the knave looked when he was dying. Then 
Sidonia would fall down, twist her face, and writhe her little 
hands and feet in horrible contortions. Upon which Otto 
would lift her up, and kiss her upon the mouth. But it will 
be seen how the just God punished him for all this, and how 
the words of the Scriptures were fulfilled : " Err not, God is 
not mocked ; for what a man soweth, that shall he also reap." 

The parson of Stramehl, David Dilavius, related also to 
old Uckermann another fact, which, though it hardly seems 
credible, the bachelor reported thus to me : — 

This Dilavius was a learned man whom Otto had selected 
as instructor to his young daughter ; " but only teach her," 
he said, " to read and write, and the first article of the Ten 
Commandments. The other Christian doctrines I can teach 
her myself; besides, I do not wish the child to learn so 
many dogmas." 

Dilavius, who was a worthy, matter-of-fact, good, simple 
character, did as he was ordered, and gave himself no further 
trouble until he came to ask the child to recite the first article 
of the creed out of the catechism for him. There was 
nothing wrong in that ; but when he came to the second 
article, he crossed himself, not because it concerned the 
Lord Christ, but her own father. Otto von Bork, and ran 
somewhat thus : — 

" And I believe in my earthly father. Otto von Bork, a 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 9 



distinguished son of God, born of Anna von Kleist, who 
sitteth in his castle at Stramehl, from whence he will come 
to help his children and friends, but to slay his enemies and 
tread them in the dust." 

The third article was much in the same style, but he had 
partly forgotten it, neither could he remember if Dilavius had 
called the father to any account for his profanity, or taught 
the daughter some better Christian doctrine. In fine, this 
was all the old bachelor could tell me of Sidonia's education. 
Yes — he remembered one anecdote more. Her father had 
asked her one day, when she was about ten or twelve years 
old, ** What kind of a husband she would like ? " and she 
replied, " One of equal birth." " lUe :* Who is her equal 
in the whole of Pomerania ? " " I/Ia : Only the Duke of 
Pomerania, or the Count von Ebersburg." Ille : Right! 
therefore she must never marry any other but one of these." 

It happened soon after, old Philip Uckermann, his father, 
riding one day through the fields near Stramehl, saw a 
country girl seated by the roadside, weeping bitterly. " Why 
do you weep ? " he asked. " Has any one injured you ? " 
" Sidonia has injured me," she replied. " What could she 
have done ? Come dry your tears, and tell me." Where- 
upon the little girl related that Sidonia, who was then about 
fourteen, had besought her to tell her what marriage was, 
because her father was always talking to her about it. The 
girl had told her to the best of her ability ; but the young 
lady beat her, and said it was not so, that long Dorothy had 
told her quite differently about marriage, and there she went 
on tormenting her for several days ; but upon this evening 
Sidonia, with long Dorothy, and some of the milkmaids of 
the neighbourhood, had taken away one of the fine geese 

* In dialogue the author makes use of the Latin pronouns, I lie, he ; 
///a, she, to denote the dififerent characters taking part in it ; and 
sometimes Hie and Hcsc, for the same purposes. Summa he employs 
in the sense of " to sum up," or " in short." 



lo SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



which the peasants had given her in payment of her labour. 
They picked it alive, all except the head and neck, then built 
up a large fire in a circle, and put the goose and a vessel of 
water in the centre. So the fat dripped down from the poor 
creature alive, and was fried in a pan as it fell, just as the 
girls eat it on their bread for supper. And the goose, having 
no means of escape, still went on drinking the water as the 
fat dripped down, whilst they kept cooling its head and heart 
with a sponge dipped in cold water, fastened to a stick, until 
at last the goose fell down when quite roasted, though it still 
screamed, and then Sidonia and her companions cut it up for 
their amusement, living as it was, and ate it for their supper, 
in proof of which, the girl showed him the bones and the re- 
mains of the fire, and the drops of fat still lying on the grass. 

Then she wept afresh, for Sidonia had promised to take 
away a goose every day, and destroy it as she had done the 
first. So my father consoled her by giving her a piece of 
gold, and said, " If she does so again, run by night and cloud, 
and come to Dalow by Stargard, where I will make thee 
keeper of my geese." .But she never came to him, and he 
never heard more of the maiden and her geese. 

So far old Uckermann related to me the first evening, 
promising to tell me of many more strange doings upon the 
following morning, which he would try to think over during 
the night. 

CHAPTER n. 

Of the hear^hunt at Stramehl^ and the strange things that 
befell there. 

The following morning, by seven o'clock, the old man sum- 
moned me to him, and on entering I found him seated at 
breakfast by the fire. He invited me to join him, and pushed 
a seat over for me with his crutch, for walking was now 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS ii 



difficult to him. He was very friendly, and the eyes of the 
old nian burned as clear as those of a white dove. He had 
slept little during the night, for Sidonia's form kept floating 
before his eyes, just as she had looked in the days when he 
paid court to her. Alas! he had once loved her deeply, 
like all the other young nobles who approached her, from the 
time she was of an age to marry. In her youth she had been 
beautiful ; and old and young declared that for figure, eyes, 
bosom, walk, and enchanting smile, there never had been seen 
her equal in all Pomerania. 

" Nothing shall be concealed from you," he said, of all 
that concerns my foolish infatuation, that you and your chil- 
dren may learn how the all-wise God deals best with His 
servants when He uses the rod and denies that for which they 
clamour as silly children for a glittering knife." Here he 
folded his withered hands, murmured a short prayer, and 
proceeded with his story. 

**You must know that I was once a proud and stately 
youth, upon whom a maiden's glance in no wise rested in- 
differently, trained in all knightly exercise, and only two years 
older than Sidonia. It happened in the September of 1 566, 
that I was invited by Caspar Roden to see his eel- nets, as 
my father intended laying down some also at Krampehl * and 
along the coast. When we returned home weary enough in 
the evening, a letter arrived from Otto von Bork, inviting 
him the following day to a bear-hunt; as he intended, in 
honour of the nuptials of his eldest daughter Clara, to lay 
bears' heads and bears' paws before his guests, which even in 
Pomerania would have been a rarity, and desiring him to 
bring as many good huntsmen with him as he pleased. So I 
accompanied Caspar Roden, who told me on the way that 
Count Otto had at first looked very high for his daughter 
Clara, and scorned many a good suitor, but that she was now 
getting rather old, and ready, like a ripe burr, to hang on the 
* A little river near Dalow. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



first that came by. Her bridegroom was Vidante von Meseritz, 
a feudal vassal of her father's, upon whom, ten years before, 
she would not have looked at from a window. Not that she 
was as proud as her young sister Sidonia. However, their 
mother was to blame for much of this ; but she was dead now, 
poor lady, let her rest in peace. 

So in good time we reached the castle of Stramehl, 
where thirty huntsmen were already assembled, all noblemen, 
and we joined them in the grand state hall, where the morn- 
ing meal was laid out. Count Otto sat at the head of the 
table, like a prince of Pomerania, upon a throne whereon 
his family arms were both carved and embroidered. He 
wore a doublet of elk-skin, and a cap with a heron's plume 
upon his head. He did not rise as we entered, but called to 
us to be seated and join the feast, as the party must move off 
soon. Costly wines were sent round; and I observed that 
on each of the glasses the family arms were cut. They were 
also painted upon the window of the great hall, and along 
the walls, under the horns of all the different wild animals 
killed by Otto in the chase — bucks, deers, harts, roes, stags, 
and elks — which were arranged in fantastical groups. 

After a little while his two daughters, Clara and Sidonia, 
entered. They wore green hunting-dresses, trimmed with 
beaver-skin, and each had a gold net thrown over her hair. 
They bowed, and bid the knights welcome. But we all re- 
mained breathless gazing upon Sidonia, as she lifted her 
beautiful eyes first on one, and then on another, inviting us 
to eat and drink ; and she even filled a small wine-glass 
herself, and prayed us to pledge her. As for me, unfortunate 
youth, from the moment I beheld her I breathed no more 
through my lungs, but through my eyes alone, and, springing 
up, gave her health publicly. A storm of loud, animated, 
passionate voices soon responded to my words with loud 
vivas. The guests then rose, for the ladies were impatient 
for the hunt, and found the time hang heavily. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



So we set off with all our implements and our dogs, and 
a hundred beaters went before us. It happened that my 
host, Caspar Roden, and I found an excellent sheltered 
position for a shot near a quarry, and we had not long been 
there (the beaters had not even yet begun their work) when 
I spied a large bear coming down to drink at a small stream 
not twenty paces from me. I fired ; but she retired quickly 
behind an oak, and, growling fiercely, disappeared amongst 
the bushes. Not long after, I heard the cries of women 
almost close to us ; and running as fast as possible in the 
direction from whence they came, I perceived an old bear 
trying to climb up to the platform where Clara and Sidonia 
stood. There was a ruined chapel here — ^which, in the time 
of papacy, had contained a holy image — and a scaffolding had 
been erected round it, adorned with wreaths of evergreen and 
flowers, from which the ladies could obtain an excellent view 
of the hunt, as it commanded a prospect of almost the entire 
wood, and even part of the sea. Attached to this scaffolding 
was a ladder, up which Bruin was anxiously trying to ascend, 
in order to visit the young ladies, who were now assailed by 
two dangers — ^the bear from below, and a swarm of bees above, 
for myriads of these insects were tormenting them, trying to 
settle upon their golden hair-nets; and the young ladies, 
screaming as if the last day had come, were vainly trying to 
beat them off with their girdles, or trample them under their 
feet. A huntsman who stood near fired, indeed, at Bruin, 
but without effect, and the bees assailing his hands and face 
at the same time, he took to flight and hid himself, groaning, 
in the quarry. 

In the meantime I had reached the chapel, and Sidonia 
stretched forth her beautiful little hands, crying, along with 
her sister, " Help ! help ! He will eat us. Will you not 
kill him ? '* But the bear, as if already aware of my inten- 
tion, began now to descend the ladder. However, I stepped 
before him, and as he descended, I ascended. Luckily for 



J4 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

me, the interval between each step was very small, to accom- 
modate the ladies' little feet, so that when Bruin tried to thrust 
his snout between them to get at me, he found it rather difficult 
work to make it pass. I had my dagger ready ; and though 
the bees which he brought with him in his fur flew on my 
hands, I heeded them not, but watching my opportunity, 
plunged it deep into his side, so that he tumbled right down 
off the ladder; and though he raised himself up once and 
growled horribly, yet in a few seconds he lay dead before our 
eyes. How the ladies now tripped down the ladder, not two 
or three, but four or five steps at a time ! and what thanks 
poured forth from their lips ! I rushed first to Sidonia, who 
laid her little head upon my breast, while I endeavoured to 
remove the bees which had got entangled in her hair-net. 
The other lady went to call the huntsman, who was hiding in 
the quarry, and we were left alone. Heavens ! how my heart 
burned, more than my inflamed hands all stung by the bees, as 
she asked, how could she repay my service. I prayed her 
for one kiss, which she granted. She had escaped with but 
one sting from the bees, who could not manage to get through 
her long, thick, beautiful hair, and she advanced joyfully to 
meet her father and the hunting-train, who had heard the cries 
of the ladies. When Count Otto heard what had happened, 
and saw the dead bear, he thanked me heartily, praying me to 
attend his daughter Clara's wedding, which was to be celebrated 
next week at the castle, and to remain as his guest until then. 
There was nothing in the world I could have desired beyond 
this, and I gratefully accepted his offer. Alas ! I suffered for 
it after, as the cat from poisoned dainties. 

But to return to our hunt. No other bear was killed that 
day, but plenty of other game, as harts, stags, roes, boars — 
more than enough. And now we discovered what an old 
hunter had conjectured, that the dead bear was the father, who 
had been alarmed by the growls of his partner, at whom I had 
fired whilst he was endeavouring to carry off the honey from 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 15 



a nest of wild bees in a neighbouring tree. For looking around 
us, we saw, at the distance of about twenty paces, a tall oak- 
tree, about which clouds of bees were still flying, in which he 
had been following his occupation. No one dared to approach 
it, to bring away the honeycombs which still lay beneath, by 
reason of the bees, and, moreover, swarms of ants, by which 
they were covered. At length Otto Bork ordered the hunts- 
man to sound the return ; and after supper I obtained another 
little kiss from Sidonia, which burned so like fire through my 
veins that I could not sleep the whole night. I resolved to 
ask her hand in marriage from her father. 

Stupid youth as I was, I then believed that she looked upon 
me with equal love ; and although I knew all about the mode 
in which she had been brought up, and many other things 
beside, which have now slipped from my memory, yet I looked 
on them but as idle stories, and was fully persuaded that Sidonia 
was sister to the ängels in beauty, goodness, and perfection. 
In a few days, however, I had reason to change my opinion. 

Next day the two young ladies were in the kitchen, over- 
seeing the cooking of the bear's head, and, as I passed by 
and looked in, they began to titter, which I took for a good 
omen, and asked, might I not be allowed to enter. They said, 
" Yes, I might come in, and help them to cleave the head." 
So I entered, and they both began to give me instructions, with 
much laughter and merry jesting. First, the bear's head had 
to be burned with hot irons ; and when I said to Sidonia that 
thus she burned my heart, she nearly died of laughter. Then 
I cut some flesh off the mouth, broke the nose, and handed it 
all over to the maidens, who set it on the fire with water, wine, 
and vinegar. As I now played the part of kitchen-boy, they 
sent me to the castle garden for thyme, sage, and rosemary> 
which I brought, and begged them for a taste of the head ; 
but they said it was not fit to eat yet — ^must be cooled in brine 
first ; so in place of it I asked one little kiss from each of 
the maidens, which Sidonia granted, but her sister refused. 



1 6 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



However, I was not in the least displeased at her refusal, 
seeing it was only the little sister I cared for. 

But judge of my rage and jealousy, that same day a 
cousin arrived at the castle, and I observed that Sidonia 
allowed him to kiss her every moment. She never even 
appeared to offer any resistance, but looked over at me lan- 
guishingly every time to see what I would say. What could 
I say ? I became pale with jealousy, but said nothing. At 
last I rushed from the hall, mute with despair, when I 
observed him finally draw her on his knee. I only heard 
the peal of laughter that followed my exit, and I was just 
near leaving the whole wedding-feast, and Stramehl for ever, 
when Sidonia called after me from the castle gates to return. 
This so melted my heart, that the tears came into my eyes, 
thinking that now indeed I had a proof of her love. Then 
she took my hand, and said, I ought not to be so unkind. 
That was her manner with all the young nobles. Why 
should she refuse a kiss when she was asked P Her little 
mouth would grow neither larger nor smaller for it." But I 
stood still and wept, and looked on the ground. "Why 
should I weep ? " she asked Her cousin Clas had a bride 
of his own already, and only took a little pastime with her, 
and so she must cure me now with another little kiss. 

I was now again a happy man, thinking she loved me ; and 
the heavens seemed so propitious, that I determined to ask 
her hand. But I had not sufficient courage as yet, and 
resolved to wait until after her sister's marriage, which was 
to take place next day. What preparations were made for 
this event it would be impossible adequately to describe. All 
the country round the castle seemed like a royal camp. Six 
hundred horses were led into the stables next day to be fed, 
for the Duke himself arrived with a princely retinue. Then 
came all the feudal vassals to offer homage for their fiefs to 
Lord Otto. But as the description is well worth hearing, I 
shall defer it for another chapter. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



17 



CHAPTER IIL 

Haw Otto von Borh recalled the bomdtge of hit son-in^laWf 
Fsdante von Afeseritvi — jfnJ bow the bride and bride^ 
groom proceeded afterwards to the cbafel- — Item^ wbat 
strange tbings bappened at tbe weddsng-feast. 

Next morning the sdr began in the castle before break of 
day, and by ten o'clock all the nobles, with their wives and 
daughters, had assembled in the great halL Then the bride 
entered, wearing her myrtle wreath, and Sidonia followed, 
glittoing with diamonds and other costly jewels. She wore 
a robe of crimson silk with a cape of ermine, falling from her 
shoulders, and looked so beautiful that I could have died for 
love, as she passed and greeted me with her graceful laugh* 
But Otto Bork, the lord of the castle, was sore displeased 
because his Serene Highness the Prince was late coming, and 
the company had been waiting an hour for his presence. A 
platform had been erected at the upper end of the hall covered 
with bearskin ; on this was placed a throne, beneath a canopy 
of yellow velvet, and here Otto was seated dressed in a 
crimson doublet, and wearing a hat half red and half black, 
from which depended plumes of red and black feathers that 
hung down nearly to his beard, which was as venerable as a 
Jew's. Every instant he despatched messengers to the tower 
to see if the prince were at hand, and as the time hung heavy, 
he began to discourse his guests. "See how this turner's 
apprentice * must have stopped on the road to carve a puppet. 
God keep us from such dukes ! " For the prince passed all 
his leisure hours in turning and carving, particularly while 
travelling, and when the carriage came to bad ground, where 
the horses had to move slowly, he was delighted, and went 

* So this prince was called from his love of turning and cai ving 
dolls. 

VOL. I. B 



i8 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



on merrily with his work ; but when the horses galloped, he 
grew ill-tempered and threw down his tools. 

At length the warder announced from the tower that the 
duke's six carriages were in sight, and the knight spoke from 
his throne : " I shall remain here, as befits me, but Clara 
and Sidonia, go ye forth and receive his Highness ; and when 
he has entered, the kinsman * in full armour shall ride into the 
hall upon his war-horse, bearing the banner of his house in his 
hand, and all my retainers shall follow on horses, each bearing 
his banner also, and shall range themselves by the great window 
of the hall ; and let the windows be open, that the wind may 
play through the banners and make the spectacle yet grander." 

Then all rushed Out to meet the Duke, and I, too, went, for 
truly the courtyard presented a gorgeous sight — all decorated 
as it was, and the pride and magnificence of Lord Otto were 
here fully displayed ; for from the upper storey of the castle 
floated the banner of the Emperor, and just beneath it that of 
Lord Otto (two crowned wolves with golden collars on a 
field or for the shield), and the crest, a crowned red-deer 
springing. Beneath this banner, but much inferior to it in 
size and execution, waved that of the Dukes of Pomerania ; 
and lowest of all, hung the banner of Otto's feudal vassals — 
but they themselves were not visible. Neither did the kinsman 
appear to receive and greet his Highness. Otto knew well, it 
seems, that he could defy the Duke (however, I think if my 
gracious Lord of Wolgast had been there, he would not have 
suffered such insults, but would have taken Otto's banner and 
flung it in the mud).f Be this as it may, Duke Barnim 
never appeared to notice anything except Otto's two 
daughters. He was a little man with a long grey beard, and as 
he stepped slowly out of the carriage held a little puppet by 
the arm, which he had been carving to represent Adam. It 

* This was the feudal term for the next relation of a deceased vassal, 
upon whom it devolved to do homage for the lands to the feudal lord, 
f Marginal note of Duke Bogislaff, *' And so would I." 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 19 



was intended for a present to the convent at Kobatz. His 
superintendens generalis^ Fabianus Timaeus (a dignified-looking 
personage), accompanied him in the carriage, for his Highness 
was going on the same day to attend the diet at Treptow, and 
only meant to pay a passing visit here. But Lord Otto con- 
cealed this feet, as it hurt his pride. The other carriages 
contained the equerries and pages of his Highness, and then 
followed the heavy waggons with the cooks, valets, and 
stewards. 

When the Prince entered the state hall. Lord Otto rose 
from his throne and said : " Your Highness is welcome, and 
I trust will pardon me for not having gone forth with my 
greetings ; but those of a couple of young damsels were pro- 
bably more agreeable than the compliments of an old knight 
like myself, who besides, as your Grace perceives, is engaged 
here in the exercise of his duty. And now, I pray your 
Highness to take this seat at my right hand." Whereupon 
he pointed to a plain chair, not in the least raised from the 
ground, and altogether as common a seat as there was to be 
found in the hall ; but his Highness sat down quietly (at which 
every one wondered in silence) and took the little puppet in 
his lap, only exclaiming in low German, What the devil, 
Otto ! you make more of yourself, man, than I do ; " to 
which the knight replied, " Not more than is necessary." 

"And now," continued the old man, "the ceremony of 
offering homage commenced, which is as fresh in my memory as 
if all had happened but yesterday, and so I shall describe it that 
you may know what were the usages of our fathers, for the cus- 
toms of chivalry are, alas ! fast passing away from amongst us. 

When Otto Bork gave the sign with his hand, six trumpets 
sounded without, whereupon the doors of the hall were thrown 
wide open as far as they could go, and the kinsman Vidante 
von Meseritz entered on a black charger, and dressed in com- 
plete armour, but without his sword. He carried the banner 
of his house (a pale gules with two foxes running), and riding 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



straight up to Lord Otto, lowered it before him. Otto then 
demanded, "Who art thou, and what is thy request?" to 
which he answered, "Mighty feudal Lord, I am kinsman 
of Dinnies von Meseritz, and pray you for the fief." " And 
who are these on horseback who follow thee ? " " They are 
the feudal vassals of my Lord, even as my father was." And 
Otto said, " Ride up, my men, and do as your fathers have 
done." Then Frederick Ubeske rode up, lowered his 
banner (charged with a sun and peacock's tail) before the 
knight, then passed on up to the great windows of the hall, 
where he took his place and drew his sword, while the wind 
played through the folds of his standard. 

Next came Walter von Locksted — flowered his banner 
(bearing a springing unicorn), rode up to the window, and 
drew his sword. After him, Claud Drosedow, waving his 
black eagle upon a white and red shield, rode up to the 
window and drew his sword ; then Jacob Pretz, on his white 
charger, bearing two spears transverse through a fallen tree 
on his flag ; and Dieterich Mailin, whose banner fell in folds 
over his hand, so that the device was not visible ; and Lorenz 
Prechel, carrying a leopard gules upon a silver shield ; and 
Jacob Knut, with a golden becker upon an azure field, and 
three plumes on the crest; and Tesmar von Kettler, whose 
spurs caught in the robe of a young maiden as he passed, and 
merry laughter resounded through the hall, many saying it 
was a good omen, which, indeed, was the truth, for that 
evening they were betrothed ; and finally came Johann 
Zastrow, bearing two buffaloes' horns on his banner, and a 
green five-leaved bush, rode up to the window after the others, 
and drew his sword. 

There stood the nine, like the muses at the nuptials of 
Peleus,* and the wind played through their banners. Then 
Lord Otto spoke — 

♦ The nine muses were present at the marriage of Peleus and Thetis. 
— See Pindar, pyth. 3, i6a 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 21 



" True, these are my leal vassals. And now, kinsman of 
Meseritz, dismount and pay homage, as did thy father, ere 
thou canst ride up and join them." So the young man dis- 
mounted, threw the reins of his horse to a squire, and 
ascended the platform. Then Otto, holding up a sword, 
spoke again — 

" Behold, kinsman, this is the sword of thy father ; 
touch it with me, and pronounce the feudal oath." Here 
all the vassals rode up from the window, and held their 
swords crosswise over the kinsman's head, while he spake 
thus — 

" I, Vidante von Meseritz, declare, vow, and swear to the 
most powerful, noble, and brave Otto von Bork, lord of the 
lands and castles of Labes, Pansin, Stramehl, Regenwalde, 
and others, and my most powerful feudal lord, and to his law- 
ful heirs, a right loyal fealty, to serve him with all duty and 
obedience, to warn him of all evil, and defend him from all 
injury, to the best of my ability and power." 

Then he kissed the knight's hand, who girded his father's 
sword on him, and said — 

"Thus I acknowledge thee for my vassal, as my father 
did thy fether." 

Then turning to his attendants he cried, " Bring hither the 
camp fiirniture." Hereupon the circle of spectators parted 
in two, and the pages led up, first, Vidante' s horse, upon 
which he sprung ; then others followed, bearing rich garments 
and his fether's signet, and laid them down before him, saying, 
" Kinsman, the garments and the seal of thy father." A 
third and a fourth bore a large couch with a white coverlet, 
set it down before him, and said, Kinsman, a couch for 
thee and thy wife." Then came a great crowd, bearing 
plates and dishes, and napkins, and table-covers, besides 
eleven tin cans, a fish-kettle, and a pair of iron pot-hooks ; 
in short, a complete camp furniture; all of which they set 
down before the young man, and then disappeared. 



22 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



During this entire time no one noticed his Highness the 
Duke, though he was indeed the feudal head of all. Even 
when the trumpets sounded again, and the vassals passed out 
in procession, they lowered their standards only before Otto, 
as if no princely personage were present But I think this 
proud Lord Otto must have commanded them so to do, for 
such an omission or breach of respect was never before seen 
in Pomerania. Even his Highness seemed, at last, to feel 
displeasure, for he drew forth his knife, and began to cut 
away at the little wooden Adam, without taking further 
notice of the ceremony. 

At length when the vassals had departed, and many of the 
guests also, who wished to follow them, had left the hall, the 
Duke looked up with his little glittering eyes, scratched the 
back of his head with the knife, and asked his Chancellor, 
Jacob Kleist, who had evidently been long raging with anger, 
" Jacob, what dost thou think of this spectaculo ? " who 
replied, " Gracious lord, I esteem it a silly thing for an 
inferior to play the part of a prince, or for a prince to be 
compelled to play the part of an inferior." Such a speech 
offended Otto mightily, who drew himself up and retorted 
scornfully, " Particularly a poor inferior who, as you see, is 
obliged to draw the plough by tiuTis with his serfs." Here- 
upon the Chancellor would have flung back the scorn, but his 
Highness motioned with the hand that he should keep silence, 
saying, " Remember, good Jacob, that we are here as guests ; 
however, order the carriages, for I think it is time that we 
proceed on our journey." 

When Otto heard this, he was confounded, and, descend- 
ing from his throne, uttered so many flattering things, that his 
Highness at length was prevailed upon to remain (I would not 
have consented, to save my soul, had I been the Prince — no, 
not even if I had to pass the night with the bears and wolves 
in the forest before I could reach Treptow) ; so the good old 
Prince followed him into another hall, where breakfast was 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



prepared, and all the lords and ladies stood there in glittering 
groups round the table, particularly admiring the bear's head, 
TiHiich seemed to please his Highness mightily also. Then 
each one drained a large goblet of wine, and even the ladies 
sipped from their little wine-glasses, to drink themselves into 
good spirits for the dance. 

Otto now related all about the hunt, and presented me to 
his Grace, who gave me his hand to kiss, saying, "Well 
done, young man — I like this bravery. Were it not for you, 
in place of a wedding, and a bear's head in the dish. Lord 
Otto might have had a funeral and two human heads in a 
coffin." His Grace then pledged me in a silver becker of 
wine ; and afterwards the bride and bridegroom, who had sat 
till then kissing and making love in a corner ; but they now 
came forward and kissed the hand of the Duke with much 
respect. The bridegroom had on a crimson doublet, which 
becime him well ; but his father's jack-boots, which he wore 
accdrding to custom, were much too wide, and shook about 
his legs. The bride was arrayed in a scarlet velvet robe, and 
bodice furred with ermine. Sidonia carried a little balsam 
flatk, depending from a gold chain which she wore round her 
neck. (She soon needed the balsam, for that day she suffered 
a foretaste of the fate which was to be the punishment for her 
afier evil deeds. ) And now, as we set forward to the church, 
a jroup of noble maidens distributed wreaths to the guests ; 
bit the bride presented one to the Duke, and Sidonia (that 
h*r hand might have been withered) handed one to me, poor 
Jtve-stricken youth. 

It was the custom then, as now, in Pomerania, for all the 
kride-maidens, crowned with beautiful wreaths, to precede the 
bride and bridegroom to church. The crowd of lords, and 
ladies, and young knights pouring out of the castle gates, in 
order to see them, separated Sidonia from this group, and she 
was left alone weeping. Now the whole population of the 
little town were running from every street leading to the 



8ID0NIA THE SORCERESS 



church ; and it happened that a courser * of Otto Bork's 
came right against Sidonia with such violence, that, with a 
blow of his head, he knocked her down into the puddle (she 
was to lie there really in after-life). Her little balsam-flask 
was of no use here. She had to go back, dripping, to the 
castle, and appeared no more at her sister's nuptials, but con- 
soled herself, however, by listening to the bellowing of the 
huntsman, whom they were beating black and blue by her 
orders beneath her window. 

I would willingly have returned with her, but was ashamed 
so to do, and therefore followed the others to church. All 
the common people that crowded the streets were allowed to 
enter. Then the bridegroom and his party, of whom the 
Duke was chief, advanced up to the right of the altar, md 
the bride and her party, of which Fabianus Timaeus was the 
most distinguished, arrayed themselves on the left 

I had now an opportunity of hearing the learned and ex- 
cellent parson Dilavius myself ; for he represented his pation 
(who was not present at the feast, but apologised for his d>- 
sence by alleging that he must remain at the castle to lo>k 
after the preparations) almost as an angel, and the young ladies, 
especially the bride, came in for even a larger share of Hs 
flattery ; but he was so modest before these illustrious persoi- 
ages, that I observed, whenever he looked up from the bool, 
he had one eye upon the Duke and another on Fabianus. 

When we returned to the castle, Sidonia met the brides 
maidens again with joyous smiles. She now wore a whiti 
silk robe, laced with gold, and dancing-slippers with white 
silk hose. The diamonds still remained on her head, neck, 
and arms. She looked beautiful thus ; and I could not with- 
draw my eyes from her. We all now entered the bride- 
chamber, as the custom is, and there stood an immense bridal 
couch, with coverlet and draperies as white as snow; and 
all the bridemaids and the guests threw their wreaths upon it. 
* A man who courses greyhounds. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 25 



Then the Prince, taking the bridegroom by the hand, led him 
up to it, and repeated an old German rhyme concerning the 
duties of the holy state upon which he had entered. 

When his Highness ceased, Fabianus took the bride by 
the hand, who blushed as red as a rose, and led her up in 
the same manner to the nuptial couch, where he uttered a 
long admonition on her duties to her husband, at which all 
wept, but particularly the bride-maidens. After this we pro- 
ceeded to the state hall, where Otto was seated on his throne 
waiting to receive them, and when his children had kissed his 
hand the dancing commenced. Otto invited the Prince to 
sit near him, and all the young knights and maidens who in- 
tended to dance ranged themselves on costly carpets that 
were laid upon the floor all round by the walls. The tioimpets 
and violins now struck up, and a band was stationed at each 
end of the hall, so that while the dancers were at the top one 
played, and when at the lower end the other. 

I hastened to Sidonia, as she reclined upon the carpet, and 
bending low before her, said, " Beautiful maiden ! will you 
not dance ? " * Upon which she smilingly gave me her little 
hand, and I raised her up, and led her away. 

I have said that I was a proficient in all knightly exercises, 
so that every one approached to see us dance. When Sidonia 
was tired I led her back, and threw myself beside her on the 
carpet. But in a little while three other young nobles came 
and seated themselves around her, and began to jest, and toy, 
and pay court to her. One played with her left hand and 
her rings, another with the gold net of her hair, while I held 
her right hand and pressed it. She coquettishly repelled them 
all — sometimes with her feet, sometimes with her hands. And 
when Hans von Damitz extolled her hair, she gave him such 
a blow on the nose with her head that it began to bleed, and 

* It will interest my fair readers to know that this was, word for 
word, the established form employed in those days for an invitation to 
dance. 



26 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



he was obliged to withdraw. Still one could see that all these 
blows, right and left, were not meant in earnest. This con- 
tinued for some time until an Italian dance began, which she 
declined to join, and as I was left alone with her upon the 
carpet, " Now," thought I, " there can be no better time to 
decide my fate ; " for she had pressed my hand frequently, 
both in the dance and since I had lain reclining beside her. 

" Beautiful Sidonia I " I said, " you know not how you 
have wounded my heart. I can neither eat nor sleep since I 
beheld you, and those five little kisses which you gave me 
burn through my frame like arrows." 

To which she answered, laughing, " It was your pastime, 
youth. It was your own wish to take those little kisses." 

" Ah, yes 1 " I said, " it was my will ; but give me more 
now and make me well." 

" What ! " she exclaimed, " you desire more kisses ? Then 
will your pain become greater, if, as you say, with every kiss 
an arrow enters your heart, so at last they would cause your 
death." 

" Ah, yes ! " I answered, " unless you take pity on me, and 
promise to become my wife, they will indeed cause my death." 
As I said this, she sprang up, tore her hand away from me, 
and cried with mocking laughter, "What does the knave 
mean ? Ha I ha ! the poor, miserable varlet ! " 

I remained some moments stupefied with rage, then sprung 
to my feet without another word, left the hall, took my steed 
from the stable, and turned my back on the castle for ever. 
You may imagine how her ingratitude added to the bitterness 
of my feelings, when I considered that it was to me she owed 
her life. She afterwards oflFered herself to me for a wife, but 
she was then dishonoured, and I spat out at her in disgust. 
I never beheld her again till she was carried past my door to 
the scaflFold. 

All this the old man related with many sighs ; but his 
after-meeting with her shall be related more in extenso in 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 27 

its proper place. I shall now set down what further he 
communicated about the wedding-feast. 

You may imagine, he said, that I was curious to know all 
that happened after I left the castle, and my friend, BogislafF 
von Suckow of Pegelow, told me as follows. 

After my departure, the young lords grew still more free 
and daring in their manner to Sidonia, so that when not 
dancing she had sufficient exercise in keeping them off with 
her hands and feet, until my friend BogislafF attracted her 
whole attention by telling her that he had just returned 
from Wolgast, where the ducal widow was much comforted 
by the presence of her son. Prince Ernest Ludovick, whom 
she had not seen since he went to the university. He 
was the handsomest youth in all Pomerania, and played the 
lute so divinely that at court he was compared to the god 
Apollo. 

Sidonia upon this fell into deep thought. In the mean- 
while, it was evident that his Highness old Duke Barnim 
was greatly struck by her beauty, and wished to get near her 
upon the carpet ; for his Grace was well known to be a great 
follower of the sex, and many stories are whispered about a 
harem of young girls he kept at St. Mary's — ^but these things 
are allowable in persons of his rank. 

However, Fabianus Timaeus, who sat by him, wished to 
prevent him approaching Sidonia, and made signs, and 
nudged him with his elbow ; and finally they put their 
heads together and had a long argument. 

At last the Prince started up, and stepping to Otto, asked 
him. Would he not dance? "Yes," he replied, "if your 
Grace will dance likewise." " Good," said the Prince, " that 
can be soon arranged," and therewith he solicited Sidonia's 
hand. At this Fabianus was so scandalised that he left 
the hall, and appeared no more until supper. After the 
dance, his Highness advanced to Otto, who was reseated on 
his throne, and said, "Why, Otto, you have a beautiful 



28 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



daughter in Sidonia. She must come to my court, and 
when she appears amongst the other ladies, I swear she will 
make a better fortune than by staying shut up here in your 
old castle." 

On which Otto replied, sarcastically smiling, "Ay, my 
gracious Prince, she would be a dainty morsel for your 
Highness, no doubt ; but there is no lack of noble visitors 
at my castle, I am proud to say." Jacob Kleist, the 
Chancellor, was now so humbled at the Duke's behaviour 
that he, too, left the hall and followed Fabianus. Even 
the Duke changed colour ; but before he had time to speak, 
Sidonia sprang forward, and having heard the whole conver- 
sation, entreated her father to accept the Duke's offer, and 
allow her either to visit the court at Wolgast or at Old 
Stettin. What was she to do here ? When the wedding- 
feast was over, no one would come to the castle but huntsmen 
and such like. 

So Otto at last consented that she might visit Wolgast, 
but on no account the court at Stettin. 

Then the young Sidonia began to coax and caress the old 
Duke, stroking his long beard, which reached to his girdle, 
with her Jittle white hands, and prayed that he would place 
her with the princely Lady of Wolgast, for she longed to 
go there. People said that it was such a beautiful place, 
and the sea was not far off, which she had never been at 
in all her life. And so the Duke was pleased with her 
caresses, and promised that he would request his dear cousin, 
the ducal widow of Wolgast, to receive her as one of her 
maids of honour. Sidonia then further entreated that there 
might be no delay, and he answered that he would send a 
note to his cousin from the Diet at Treptow, by the Grand 
Chamberlain of Wolgast, Ulrich von Schwerin, and that she 
would not have to wait long. But she must go by Old 
Stettin, and stop at his palace for a while, and then he would 
bring her on himself to Wolgast, if he had time to spare. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



While Sidonia clapped her hands and danced about for 
joy, Otto looked grave, and said, "But, gracious Lord, 
the nearest way to Wolgast is by Cammin. Sidonia must 
make a circuit if she goes by Old Stettin." 

The conversation was now interrupted by the lacqueys, who 
came to announce that dinner was served. 

Otto requested the Duke to take a place beside him at 
table, and treated him with somewhat more distinction than 
he had done in the morning ; but a hot dispute soon arose, 
and this was the cause. As Otto drank deep in the wine- 
cup, he grew more reckless and daring, and began to display 
his heretical doctrines as openly as he had hitherto exhibited 
his pomp and magnificence, so that every one might learn 
that pride and ungodliness are twin brothers. May God 
keep us from both ! 

And one of the guests having said, in confirmation of some 
fact, " The Lord Jesus knows I speak the truth ! " the 
godless knight laughed scornfully, exclaiming, "The Lord 
Jesus knows as little about the matter as my old grandfather, 
lying there in his vault, of our wedding-feast to-day." 

There was a dead silence instantly, and the Prince, who 
had just lifted up some of the bear's paw to his lips, with 
mustard sauce and pastry all round it, dropped it again upon 
his plate, and opened his eyes as wide as they could go ; then, 
hastily wiping his mouth with the salvet, exclaimed in low 
German, "What the devil. Otto ! art thou a freethinker ?" 
who replied, "A true nobleman may, in all things, be a 
freethinker, and neither do all that a prince commands nor 
believe all that a pope teaches." To which the Duke 
answered, "What concerns me I pardon, for I do not 
believe that you will ever forget your duty to your Prince. 
The times are gone by when a noble would openly offer 
violence to his sovereign ; but for what concerns the honour of 
our Lord Christ, I must leave you in the hands of Fabianus 
to receive proper chastisement." 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



Now Fabianus, seeing that all eyes were fixed on him, 
grew red and cleared his throat, and set himself in a position 
to argue the point with Lord Otto, beginning — " So you 
believe that Christ the Lord remained in the grave, and is not 
living and reigning for all eternity ? '* 

Ille. — " Yes ; that is my opinion." 

Hie. — " What do you believe, then ? or do you believe in 
anything ? " 

lUe. — " Yes ; I believe firmly in an all-powerful and om- 
niscient God." 

Hlc. — " How do you know He exists ? " 

Ille. — " Because my reason tells me so." 

Hie. — " Your reason does not tell you so, good sir. It 
merely tells you that something supermundane exists, but can- 
not tell you whether it be one God or two Gods, or a hundred 
Gods, or of what nature are these Gods — whether spirits, 
or stars, or trees, or animals, or, in fine, any object you can 
name, for paganism has imagined a Deity in everything, 
which proves what I assert. You only believe in one God, be- 
cause you sucked in the doctrine with your mother's milk." * 

♦ The history of all philosophy shows that this is psychologically 
true. Even Lucian satirises the philosophers of his age who see God 
or Gods in numbers, dogs, geese, trees, and other things. 

But monotheistic Christianity has preserved us for nearly 2000 
years from these aberrations of philosophy. However, as the authority 
of Christianity declined, the pagan tendency again became visible; 
until at length, in the Hegelian school, we have fallen back helplessly 
into the same pantheism which we left 2000 years ago. In short, 
what Kant asserts is perfectly true : that the existence of God cannot 
be proved from reason. For the highest objects of all cognition — 
God, Freedom, and Immortality — can as little be evolved from the new 
philosophy as beauty from the disgusting process of decomposition. 
And yet more impossible is it to imagine that this feeble Hegelian 
pantheism should ever become the crown and summit of all himian 
thought, and final resting-place for all human minds. Reason, whether 
from an indwelling instinct, or from an innate causality-law, may 
assert that something supermundane exists, but can know nothing 
more and nothing further. 

So we see the absurdity of chattering in our journals and periodicals 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 31 



lUe. — "How did it happen, then, that Abraham arrived 
at the knowledge of the one God, and called on the name of 
the Lord?" 

Hie, — " Do you compare yourself with Abraham ? Have 
you ever studied Hebrew ? " 

llle. — " A little. In my youth I read through the book 
of Genesis." 

H\c. — " Good ! then you know that the Hebrew word for 
name is Shem ? " 

Yes ; I know that." 

H'tc, — Then you know that from the time of Enos the 
name* was preached (Genesis iv. 26), showing that the pure 
doctrine was known from the beginning. This doctrine was 
darkened and obscured by wise people like you, so that it was 
almost lost at the time of Abraham, who again preached the 
name of the Lord to unbelievers." 

Ille, — " What did this primitive doctrine contain ? " 

Hie. — " Undoubtedly not only a testimony of the one living 
God of heaven and earth, but also clearly of Christ the 
Messiah, as He who was promised to our fallen parents in 
paradise (Genesis iiL 15)." 

nie» — " Can you prove that Abraham had the witness of 
Christ?" 

of the progress of reason. The advance has been only formal, not 
essential. The formal advance has been in printing, railroads, and 
such like, in which direction we may easily suppose progression will yet 
further continue. But there has been no essential advance whatever. 
We know as little now of our own being, of the being of God, or even 
of that of the smallest infusoria, as in the days of Thales and Anaxi- 
mander. In short, when life begins, begins also our feebleness; 

Therefore," says Paul, " we walk by faith, not by sight." Yet these 
would-be philosophers of our day will only walk by sight, not by 
faith, although they cannot see into anything — not even into them- 
selves. 

* In order to understand the argument, the reader must remember 
that the name here is taken in the sense of the Greek X070S, and is con- 
sidered as referring especially to Christ. 



32 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

H'tc. — " Yes ; from Christ's own words (John viii. 56) : — 
* Abraham, your father, rejoiced to see My day, and he saw 
it, and was glad.' Item : Moses and all the Prophets have 
witnessed of Him, of whom you say that He lies dead in the 
grave." 

Ille. — " Oh, that is just what the priests say." 

Hie, — " And Christ Himself, Luke xxvi. 2 5 and 27. Do 
you not see, young man, that you mock the Prince of Life, 
whom God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began 
— Titus i. 2 — ay, even more than you mocked your temporal 
Prince this day? Poor sinner, what does it help you to 
believe in one God ? " 

« Even the devils believe and tremble," added Jacob Kleist 
the Chancellor. " No, there is no other name given under 
heaven by which you can be saved ; and will you be more 
wise than Abraham, and the Prophets, and the Apostles, and 
all holy Christian Churches up to this day ? Shame on you, 
and remember what St. Paul says : < Thinking themselves 
wise, they became fools.' And in ist Cor. xv. 17: * If 
Christ be not risen, than is your faith vain, and our preaching 
also vain. Ye are yet in your sins, and they who sleep in 
Christ are lost.' " * 

So Otto was silenced and coughed, for he had nothing to 
answer, and all the guests laughed ; but, fortunately, just then 
the offering-plate was handed round, and the Duke laid down 
two ducats, at which Otto smiled scornfully, and flung in 
seven rix-dollars, but laughed outright when Fabian us put 
down only four groschen. 

♦ This proof of Christ's divinity from the Old Testament was con- 
sidered of the highest importance in the time of the Apostles ; but 
Schleiermacher, in his strange system, which may be called a mystic 
Rationalism, endeavours to shake the authority of the Old Testament 
in a most unpardonable and incomprehensible manner. 'I'his appears 
to me as if a man were to tear down a building from the sure founda- 
tion on which it had rested for 1000 years, and imagine it could rest in 
true stability only on the mere breath of his words. 



Tai» a— TWTT TT aEfinL nsr S^rniBm. ir it iBnt^T?r- 
his Chsnr^Tfir tl rrmr- zanä^e^ 3Bt mk: an^ irmr. ^antt 

^Yiks: ras. LtüL. ir lie nwi toI iss«r ^xu. nur -ß:!ii it 
hsl^ rfc» üc TTTT nar it SzrnnxDs."^ TTx "whiza: Otttr 

goat Linnuii^» -öss^ Jmrws^ pHjant inr ihr iw: 

Tttnr bL :äE isnäes nae to. mat tÖK» Ttnmu: 

sscz^ ic SECT TinnprF 3srw igjarlY Gi*^f Wnri ^wös^ ^^urtv. 
FiccHiiis -»es iomBEEtv lÜESBEX iear iisr jmstrt ir. 
iBffimiEr^ ma. jumiuei u lac iff 3nfaisi?f 7^-«uar3?: iu:x^m|: 
he: y^marf^ _iiuxi £ ^AaL . 

rare fanÄt jü iki UdßirTiifflmi CTxüi Tfiiin? 

Acianini^^^ near iix I sssaL ietT? ^ ^ 'svd ^^Ji mww 
prsTinx Galt la, ^tb» 5m x jcace^cfl 3»fi^ Ja>3 jstrn'*^ « 
StnoDiäL -rää aiT xnan:. Hare, i»cwew* 1 c^fi&Ü ik> 
infarnadisa ; ir ciex täe Bari tornk jinrttaiiiNi Tv> J^tk^«* 
ncdm^ Tiffl: 2a x täej üktot Baad iieari csf S*jk«öJj 

v!» lad ksonrLisrvvTci!! dead. THe i^irl^ ix»3^^ WJtj; 
£iixi^ whmt ^aom Sidom bad kiOed, hart ckhw 
oH voBKSB k Koosid rhildIwwMi, and äoKxd 1 ^J»$ 
Sidobb, isho bad cooie to lake avay anodier tKvt» her« 
So I rode OD m FraenvaU, wheie I heaurvi m^sch Üut j;Kj))t 
appear m its proper place ; dien to Old Stie^Q ; 4a)di» ^dttr 
waiting three days for a baa wind, set sadl Kir W<c)l^^, 
expect!]^ to obtain mach infonnatioo there. 



TOL. L 



C 



34 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



CHAPTER IV. 

How Stdonia came to the court at Wolgast^ and of what further 
happened to her there. 

In Wolgast I met with many persons whose fathers had known 
Sidonia, and what they related to me concerning her I have 
summed up into connection for your Highness as follows. 

When Duke Barnim reached the Diet at Treptow, he 
immediately made known Sidonia's request to the Grand 
Chamberlain of Wolgast, Ulrich von Schwerin, who was also 
guardian to the five young princes. But he grumbled, and 
said — " The ducal widow had maids of honour enough to dam 
up the river with if she chose ; and he wished for no more pet 
doves to be brought to court, particularly not Sidonia ; for he 
knew her father was ambitious, and longed to be called * your 
Grace.' " 

Even Fabianus could not prevail in Sidonia's favour. So 
the Duke and he returned home to Stettin ; but scarcely had 
they arrived there, when a letter came from the ducal widow 
of Wolgast, saying, that on no account would she receive 
Sidonia at her court. The Duke might therefore keep her at 
his own if he chose. 

So the Duke took no further trouble. But Sidonia was not 
so easily satisfied ; and taking the matter in her own hands she 
left her father's castle without waiting his permission, and set 
off for Stettin. 

On arriving, she prayed the Duke to bring her to Wolgast 
without delay, as she knew there was an honourable, noble 
lady there who would watch over her, as indeed she felt 
would be necessary at a court. And Fabianus supported her 
petition ; for he was much edified with her expressed desire to 
crucify the flesh, with the affections and lusts. 

AJi ! could he have known her 1 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



35 



So the kind-hearted Duke embarked with her immediately, 
without teUing any one ; and having a fair wind, sailed up 
directly to the little water-gate, and anchored close beneath 
the Castle of Wolgast. 

Here they landed ; the Duke having Sidonia under one 
arm, and a little wooden puppet under the other. It was an 
Eve, for whom Sidonia had served as the model ; and truly 
she was an Eve in sin, and brought as much evil upon the 
land of Pomerania as our first mother upon the whole world. 
Sidonia was enveloped in a black mantle, and wore a hood 
lined with fiir covering her face. The Duke also had on a large 
wrapping cloak, and a cap of yellow leather upon his head. 

So they entered the private gate, and on through the first 
and second courts of the castle, without her Grace hearing a 
word of their arrival. And they proceeded on through the 
gallery, until they reached the private apartments of the 
princess, from whence resounded a psalm which her Grace 
was singing with her ladies while they spun, and which psalm 
was played by a little musical box placed within the Duchess's 
own spinning-wheel. Duke Barnim had made it himself for 
her Grace, and it was right pleasant to hear. 

After listening some time, the Duke knocked, and a maid 
of honour opened the door. When they entered, her Grace 
was so confounded that she dropped her thread and exclaimed, 
" Dear uncle ! is this maiden, then, Sidonia ? " examining her 
from head to foot while she spoke. The Duke excused 
himself by saying that he had promised her father to bring 
her here ; but her Grace cut short his apologies with " Dear 
uncle. Dr. Martin Luther told me on my wedding-day that he 
never allowed himself to be interrupted at his prayers, because 
it betokened the presence of something evil. And you have 
now broken in on our devotions ; therefore sit down with the 
maiden and join our psalm, if you know it." Then her 
Grace took up the reel again, and having set the clock-work 
going with her foot, struck up the psalm once more, in a clear, 



36 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



loud voice, joined by all her ladies. But Sidonia sat still, 
and kept her eyes upon the ground. 

When they had ended, her Grace, having first crossed her- 
self, advanced to Sidonia, and said, " Since you arrived at my 
court, you may remain ; but take care that you never lift your 
eyes upon the young men. Such wantons are hateful to my 
sight ; for, as the Scripture says, * A fair woman without dis- 
cretion is like a circlet of gold upon a swine's head.' " 

Sidonia changed colour at this ; but the Duke, who held 
quite a different opinion about such women, entreated her 
Grace not to be always so gloomy and melancholy — ^that it 
was time now for her to forget her late spouse, and think of 
gayer subjects. To which she answered, " Dear uncle, I 
cannot forget my Philip, particularly as my fate was fore- 
shadowed at my bridal by a most ominous occurrence." 

Now, the Duke had heard this story of the bridal a hundred 
times ; yet to please her he asked, " And what was it, dear 
cousin ? " 

" Listen," she replied. " When Dr. Martin Luther ex- 
changed our rings, mine fell from his hand to the ground ; at 
which he was evidently troubled, and taking it up, he blew 
on it ; then turning round, exclaimed — * Away with thee, 
Satan ! away with thee, Satan ! Meddle not in this matter I ' 
And so my dear lord was taken from me in his forty-fifth 
year, and I was left a desolate widow." Here she sobbed 
and put her kerchief to her eyes. 

" But, cousin," said the Duke, " remember you have a 
great blessing from God in your five fine sons. And that 
reminds me — where are they all now ? " 

This restored her Grace, and she began to discourse of 
her children, telling how handsome was the young Prince 
Ernest, and that he and the little Casimir were only with 
her now. 

Here Sidonia, as the other ladies remarked, moved rest- 
lessly on her chair, and her eyes flashed like torches, so 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 37 



that it was evident some plan had struck her, for she was 
strengthening day by day in wickedness. 

" Ay, cousin," cried the Duke, " it is no wonder a hand- 
some mother should have handsome sons. And now what 
think you of giving us a jolly wedding ? It is time for you 
to think of a second husband, methinks, after having wept ten 
years for your Philip. The best doctor, they say, for a young 
widow, is a handsome lover. What think you of myself, for 
instance ? " And he pulled off his leather cap, and put his 
white head and beard up close to her Grace. 

Now, though her Grace could not help laughing at his 
position and words, yet she grew as sour as vinegar again 
immediately ; for all the ladies tittered, and, as to Sidonia, 
she laughed outright. 

" Fie ! uncle," said her Grace, " a truce to such folly ; do 
you not know what St. Paul says — * Let the widows abide 
even as I ' ? " 

" Ay, true, dear cousin ; but, then, does he not say, too, 
* I will that the younger widows marry ' ? " 

"Ah, but, dear uncle, I am no longer young." 

" Why, you are as young and active as a girl ; and I en- 
gage, cousin, if any stranger came in here to look for the 
widow, he would find it difficult to make her out amongst 
the young maidens ; don't you think so, Sidonia ? " 

Ah, yes, " she replied ; " I never imagined her Grace 
was so young. She is as blooming as a rose." 

This appeared to please the Princess, for she smiled 
slightly and then sighed ; but gave his Grace a smart slap 
when he attempted to seize her hand and kiss it, saying — 
" Now, uncle, I told you to leave off this foolery." 

At this moment the band outside struck up Duke Bogis- 
laff's march — ^the same that was played before him in 
Jerusalem when he ascended the Via Dolorosa up to Gol- 
gotha ; for it was the custom here to play this march half- 
an-hour before dinner, in order to gather all the household, 



38 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



knights, squires, pages, and even grooms and peasants, to the 
castle, where they all received entertainment. And ten rooms 
were laid with dinner, and all stood open, so that any one 
might enter under the permission of the Court Marshal. All 
this I must notice here, because Sidonia afterwards caused 
much scandal by these means. The music now rejoiced her 
greatly, and she began to move her little feet, not in a 
pilgrim, but in a waltz measure, and to beat time with them, 
as one could easily perceive by the motion underneath her 
mantle. 

The Grand Chamberlain, Ulrich von Schwerin, now 
entered, and having looked at Sidonia with much surprise, 
advanced to kiss the hand of the Duke and bid him welcome 
to Wolgast. Then, turning to her Grace, he inquired if the 
twelve pages should wait at table to do honour to the Duke 
of Stettin. But the Duke forbade them, saying he wished to 
dine in private for this day with the Duchess and her two 
sons ; the Grand Chamberlain, too, he hoped would be pre- 
sent, and Sidonia might have a seat at the ducal table, as she 
was of noble blood ; besides, he had taken her likeness as 
Eve, and the first of women ought to sit at the first table. 
Hereupon the Duke drew forth the puppet, and called to 
Ulrich — " Here ! you have seen my Adam in Treptow ; 
what think you now of Eve ? Look, dear cousin, is she not 
the image of Sidonia ? " 

At this speech both looked very grave. Ulrich said 
nothing ; but her Grace replied, " You will make the girl vain, 
dear uncle." And Ulrich added, " Yes, and the image has 
such an expression, that if the real Eve looked so, I think 
she would have left her husband in the lurch and run with 
the devil himself to the devil." 

While the last verse of the march was playing — " To Zion 
comes Pomerania's Prince" — they proceeded to dinner — 
the Duke and the Princes leading, while from every door 
along the corridor the young knights and pages peeped out 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



to get a sight o'f Sidonia, who, having thrown off her mantle, 
swept by them in a robe of crimson velvet laced with gold. 

When they entered the dining-hall, Prince Ernest was 
leaning against one of the pillars wearing a black Spanish 
mantle, fastened with chains of gold. He stepped forward 
to greet the Duke, and inquire after his health. 

The Duke was well pleased to see him, and tapped him 
on the cheek, exclaiming — 

" By my faith, cousin, I have not heard too much of you. 
What a fine youth you have grown up since you left the 
university." 

But how Sidonia's eyes sparkled when (for his misfor- 
tune) she found herself seated next him at table. The 
Duchess now called upon Sidonia to say the " gratias ; " but 
she blundered and stammered, which many imputed to 
modesty, so that Prince Ernest had to repeat it in her stead. 
This seemed to give him courage ; for when the others 
began to talk around the table, he ventured to bid her 
welcome to his mother's court. 

When they rose from table, Sidonia was again com- 
manded to say grace ; but being imable, the Prince came to 
her relief and repeated the words for her. And now the 
evil spirit without doubt put it into the Duke's head, who 
had drunk rather freely, to say to her Grace — 

"Dear cousin, I have introduced the Italian fashion at 
my court, which is, that every knight kisses the lady next 
him on rising from dinner — ^let us do the same here." And 
herewith he first kissed her Grace and then Sidonia. Ulrich 
von Schwerin looked grave at this and shook his head, 
particularly when the Duke encouraged Prince Ernest to 
follow his example ; but the poor youth looked quite ashamed, 
and cast down his eyes. However, when he raised them 
again Sidonia's were fixed on him, and she murmured, 
" Will you not learn ? " with such a glance accompanying 
the words, that he could no longer resist to touch her lips. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



So there was great laughing in the hall ; and the Duke then, 
taking his puppet under one arm and Sidonia under the other, 
descended with her to the castle gardens, complaining that 
he never got a good laugh in this gloomy house, let him do 
what he would. 

And the next day he departed, though the Prince sent his 
equerry to know would his Grace desire to hunt that day ; or, 
if he preferred fishing, there were some excellent carp within 
the domain. But the Duke replied, that he would neither 
ride nor fish, but sail away at ten of the clock, if the wind 
were favourable. 

So many feared that his Grace was annoyed ; and therefore 
the Duchess and Prince Ernest, along with the Grand 
Chamberlain, attended him to the gate ; and even to please 
him, Sidonia was allowed to accompany them. The Pome- 
ranian standard also was hoisted to do him honour, and 
finally he bade the illustrious widow farewell, recommending 
Sidonia to her care. But the fair maiden herself he took in 
his arms, she weeping and sobbing, and admonished her to be 
careful and discreet ; and so, with a fair wind, set sail from 
Wolgast, and never once looked back. 



CHAPTER V. 

Sidonia knows nothing of God*s Wordy hut seeks to learn It 
from the young Prince of IVolgast, 

Next day, Sunday, her Grace was unable to attend divine 
service in the church, having caught cold by neglecting to put 
on her mantle when she accompanied the Duke down to the 
water-gate. However, though her Grace could not leave 
her chamber, yet she heard the sermon of the preacher all 
the same; for an ear-tube descended from her apartment 
down on the top of the pulpit, by which means every word 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



reached her, and a maid of honour always remained in at- 
tendance to find out the lessons of the day, and the other 
portions of the divine service, for her Grace, who thus could 
follow the clergyman word for word. Sidonia was the one 
selected for the office on this day. 

But, gracious Heavens ! when the Duchess said. Find me 
out the prophet Isaiah, Sidonia looked in the New Testa- 
ment ; and when she said. Open the Gospel of St. John, 
Sidonia looked in the Old Testament. At first her Grace 
did not perceive her blunders ; but when she became aware of 
them, she started up, and tearing the Bible out of her hands, 
exclaimed, " What ! are you a heathen ? Yesterday you 
could not repeat a* simple grace that every child knows by 
heart, and to-day you do not know the difference between 
the Old and New Testaments. For shame ! Alas ! what 
an ill weed I have introduced into my house." 

So the cunning wench began to weep, and said, her father 
had never allowed her to learn Christianity, though she 
wished to do so ardently, but always made a mock of it, and 
for this reason she had sought a refuge with her Grace, 
where she hoped to become a truly pious and believing 
Christian. The Duchess was quite softened by her tears, 
and promised that Dr. Dionysius Gerschovius should examine 
her in the catechism, and see what she knew. He was a 
learned man from Daber,* and iier Grace's chaplain. The 
very idea of the doctor frightened Sidonia so much, that her 
teeth chattered, and she entreated her Grace, while she kissed 
her hand, to allow her at least a fortnight for preparation and 
study before the doctor came. 

The Duchess promised this, and said, that Clara von 
Dewitz, another of her maidens, would be an excellent person 
to assist her in her studies, as she came from Daber also, and 
was familiar with the views and doctrines held by Dr. 
Gerschovius. This Clara we shall hear more of in our 
* A small town in Lower Pomerania. 



42 



SIDONIA THE SORCKRESS 



history. She was a year older than Sidonia, intelligent, 
courageous, and faithful, with a quiet, amiable disposition, and 
of most pious and Christian demeanour. She wore a high, 
stiff ruff, out of which peeped forth her head scarcely visible, 
and a long robe, like a stole, sweeping behind her. She was 
privately betrothed to her Grace's Master of the Horse, 
Marcus Bork by name, a cousin of Sidonia's ; for, as her 
Grace discouraged all kinds of gallantry or love-making at 
her court, they were obliged to keep the matter secret, so 
that no one, not even her Grace, suspected anything of the 
enj^agement. 

This was the person appointed to instruct Sidonia in 
Christianity ; and every day the fair pupil visited Clara in her 
room for an hour. But, alas ! theology was sadly interrupted 
by Sidonia's folly and levity, for she chattered away on all 
subjects : first about Prince Ernest — was he affianced to any 
one ? was he in love ? had Clara herself a lover ? and if that 
old proser, meaning the Duchess, looked always as sour ? did 
she never allow a feast or a dance ? and then she would toss 
the catechism under the bed, or tear it and trample on it, 
muttering, with much ill-temper, that she was too old to be 
learning catechisms like a child. 

Poor Clara tried to reason with her mildly, and said — 
"Her Grace was very particular on these points. The 
maids of honour were obliged to assemble weekly once in 
the church and once in her Grace's own room, to I e 
examined by Dr. Gerschovius, not only in the Lutheran 
Catechism, which they all knew well, but also in that written 
by his brother, Dr. Timothy Gerschovius of Old Stettin ; 
80 Sidonia had better first learn the Catechtsmum Luthen^ 
and afterwards the Catechtsmum GerschoviL" At last 
Sidonia grew so weary of catechisms that she determined 
to run away from court. 

But Satan had more for her to do ; so he put a little 
syrup into the wormwood draught, and thus it was. One 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



day passing along the corridor from Clara's room, it so hap- 
pened that Prince Ernest opened his door, just as she came 
up to it, to let out the smoke, and then began to walk up and 
down, playing softly on his lute. Sidonia stood still for a 
few minutes with her eyes thrown up in ecstasy, and then 
passed on ; but the Prince stepped to the door, and asked her 
did she play. 

" Alas ! no," she answered. " Her father had forbidden 
her to learn the lute, though music was her passion, and her 
heart seemed almost breaking with joy when she listened to 
it. If his Highness would but play one little air over again 
for her." 

"Yes, if you will enter, but not while you are standing 
there at my door." 

" Ah, do not ask me to enter, that would not be seemly ; 
but I will sit down here on this beer-barrel in the corridor 
and listen ; besides, music is improved by distance." 

And she looked so tenderly at the young Prince that his 
heart burned within him, and he stepped out into the corridor 
to play ; but the sound reaching the ears of her Grace, she 
looked out, and Sidonia jumped up from the beer-barrel and 
fled away to her own room. 

When Sunday came again, all the maids of honour were 
assembled, as usual, in her Grace's apartment, to be examined 
in the catechism ; and probably the Duchess had lamented 
much to the doctor over Sidonia's levity and ignorance, for 
he kept a narrow watch on her the whole day. At four of 
the clpck Dr. Gerschovius entered in his gown and bands, 
looking very solemn ; for it was a saying of his " that the 
devil invented laughter ; and that it were better for a man 
to be a weeping Heraclitus than a laughing Democritus." 
After he had kissed the hand of her Grace, he said they had 
better now begin with the Commandments ; and, turning 
to Sidonia, asked her, " What is forbidden by the seventh 
commandment ? " 



44 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



Now Sidonia, who had only learned the Lutheran Cate- 
chism, did not understand the question in this form out of 
the Gerschovian Catechism, and remained silent. 

What ! " said the doctor, " not know my brother's cate- 
chism ! You must get one directly from the court bookseller 
— the Catechism of Doctor Timothy Gerschovius — and have 
it learned by next Sunday." Then turning to Clara, he re- 
peated the question, and she, having answered, received great 
praise. 

Now it happened that just at this time the ducal horse 
were led up to the horse-pond to water, and all the young 
pages and knights were gathered in a group under the win- 
dow of her Grace's apartment, laughing and jesting merrily. 
So Sidonia looked out at them, which the doctor no sooner 
perceived than he slapped her on the hand with the catechism, 
exclaiming, "What! have you not heard just now that all 
sinful desires are forbidden by the seventh commandment, 
and yet you look forth upon the young men from the window ? 
Tell me what are sinful desires ? " 

But the proud girl grew red with indignation, and cried, 
" Do you dare to strike me ? " Then, turning to her Grace, 
she said, " Madam, that sour old priest has struck me on the 
fingers. I will not suffer this. My father shall hear of it." 

Hereupon her Grace, and even the doctor, tried to appease 
her, but in vain, and she ran crying from the apartment. In 
the corridor she met the old treasurer, Jacob Zitsewitz, who 
hated the doctor and all his rigid doctrines. So she com- 
plained of the treatment which she had received, and pressed 
his hand and stroked his beard, saying, would he permit a 
castle and land dowered maiden to be scolded and insulted 
by an old parson because she looked out at a window ? That 
was worse than in the days of Popery. Now Zitsewitz, who 
had a little wine in his head, on hearing this, ran in great 
wrath to the apartment of her Grace, where soon a great 
uproar was heard. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 45 



For the treasurer, in the heat of his remonstrance with the 
priest, struck a little table violently which stood near him, 
and overthrew it. On this had lain the superb escritoire of 
her Highness, made of Venetian glass, in which the ducal 
arms were painted; and also the magnificent album of her 
deceased lord, Duke Philip. The escritoire was broken, the 
ink poured forth upon the album, from thence ran down to 
the costly Persian carpet, a present from her brother, the 
Prince of Saxony, and finally stained the velvet robe of her 
Highness herself, who started up screaming, so that the old 
chamberlain rushed in to know what had happened, and then 
he fell into a rage both with the priest and the treasurer. At 
length her Grace was comforted by hearing that a chemist in 
Grypswald could restore the book, and mend the glass again 
as good as new ; still she wept, and exclaimed, " Alas ! who 
could have thought it ? all this was foreshadowed to her by 
Dr. Martinus dropping her ring." 

Here the treasurer, to conciliate her Grace, pretended that 
he never had heard the story of the betrothal, and asked, 
" What does your Grace mean ? " Whereupon drying her 
eyes she answered, "O Master Jacob, you will hear a 
strange story" — and here she went over each particular, 
though every child in the street had it by heart. So this 
took away her grief, and every one got to rights again, for 
that day. But worse was soon to befall. 

I have said that half-an-hour before dinner the band played 
to summon all within the castle and the retainers to their 
respective messes, as the custom then was ; so that the long 
corridor was soon filled with a crowd of all conditions — ^pages, 
knights, squires, grooms, maids, and huntsmen, all hurrying 
to the apartments where their several tables were laid. 
Sidonia, being aware of this, upon the first roll of the drum 
skipped out into the corridor, dancing up and down the 
whole length of it to the music, so that the players declared 
they had never seen so beautiful a dancer, at which her 



46 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



heart beat with joy ; and as the crowd came up, they stopped 
to admire her grace and beauty. Then she would pause and 
say a few pleasing words to each, to a huntsman, it he were 
passing — " Ah, I think no deer in the world could escape 
you, my fine young peasant ; " or if a knight, she would 
praise the colour of his doublet and the tie of his garter ; or 
if a laundress, she would commend the whiteness of her linen, 
which she had never seen equalled ; and as to the old cook 
and butler, she enchanted them by asking, had his Grace of 
Stettin ever seen them, for assuredly, if he had, he would 
have taken their fine heads as models for Abraham and 
Noah. Then she flung largess amongst them to drink the 
health of the Duchess. Only when a young noble passed, she 
grew timid and durst not venture to address him, but said, 
loud enough for him to hear, " Oh, how handsome ! Do 
you know his name ? " Or, " It is easy to see that he is a 
born nobleman " — and such like hypocritical flatteries. 

The Princess never knew a word of all this, for, according 
to etiquette, she was the last to seat herself at table. So 
Sidonia's doings were not discovered until too late, for by 
that time she had won over the whole court, great and small, 
to her interests. 

Amongst the cavaliers who passed one day were two fine 
young men, Wedig von Schwetzkow, and Johann Appelmann, 
son of the burgomaster at Stargard. They were both hand- 
some ; but Johann was a dissolute, wild profligate, and Wedig 
was not troubled with too much sense. Still he had 
not fallen into the evil courses which made the other so 
notorious. " Who is that handsome youth ? " asked Sidonia 
as Johann passed ; and when they told her, " Ah, a gentle- 
man ! " she exclaimed, " who is of far higher value in my 
eyes than a nobleman." 

Summa : they both fell in love with her on the instant ; 
but all the young squires were the same more or less, except 
her cousin Marcus Bork, seeing that he was already betrothed. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 47 



Likewise after dinner, in place of going direct to the ladies' 
apartments, she would take a circuitous route, so as to go by 
the quarter where the men dined, and as she passed their 
doors, which they left open on puipose, what rejoicing 
there was, and such running and squeezing just to get a 
glimpse of her — the little putting their heads under the arms 
of the tall, and there they began to laugh and chat; but 
neither the Duchess nor the old chamberlain knew anything 
of this, for they were in a different wing of the casde, and 
besides, always took a sleep after dinner. 

However, old Zitsewitz, when he heard the clamour, 
knew well it was Sidonia, and would jump up from the 
marshal's table, though the old marshal shook his head, and 
run to the gallery to have a chat with her himself, and she 
laughed and coquetted with him, so that the old knight would 
run after her and take her in his arms, asking her where she 
would wish to go. Then she sometimes said, to the casde 
garden to feed the pet stag, for she had never seen so pretty a 
thing in all her life ; and she would fetch crumbs of bread with 
her to feed it. So he must needs go with her, and Sidonia 
ran down the steps with him that led from the young men's 
quarter to the castle court, while they all rose up to look after 
her, and laugh at the old fool of a treasurer. But in a short 
time they followed too, running up and down the steps in 
crowds, to see Sidonia feeding the stag and caressing it, and 
sometimes trying to ride on it, while old Zitsewitz held the 
horns. 

Prince Ernest beheld all this from a window, and was 
ready to die with jealousy and mortification, for he felt that 
Sidonia was gay and friendly with every one but him. 
Indeed, since the day of the lute-playing, he fancied she 
shunned him and treated him coldly. But as Sidonia had 
observed particularly, that whenever the young Prince passed 
her in the gallery he cast down his eyes and sighed, she took 
another way of managing him. 



48 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



CHAPTER VI. 

Hoiv the young Prince prepared a petition to his mother^ the 
Duchessy In favour of Sldonla — Iteniy of the strange doings 
of the Laplander with his magic drum. 

The day preceding that on which Sidonia was to repeat the 
Catechism of Doctor Gerschovius (of which, by the way, she 
had not learned one word), the young Duke suddenly entered 
his mother's apartment, where she and her maidens were 
spinning, and asked her if she remembered anything about a 
Laplander with a drum, who had foretold some event to her 
and his father whilst they were at Penemunde some years 
before ; for he had been arrested at Eldena, and was now in 
Wolgast. 

** Alas ! " said her Grace, " I perfectly remember the hor- 
rible sorcerer. One spring I was at the hunt with your 
father near Penemunde, when this wretch suddenly appeared 
driving two cows before him on a large ice-field. He pre- 
tended that while he was telling fortunes to the girls who 
milked the cows, a great storm arose, and drove him out into 
the wide sea, which was a terrible misfortune to him. But 
your father told him in Swedish, which language the knave 
knew, that it had been better to prophesy his own destiny. 
To which he replied, a man could as little foretell his own 
fate as see the back of his own head, which every one can see 
but himself. However, if the Duke wished, he would tell 
him his fortune, and if it did not come out true, let all the 
world hold him as a liar for his life long. 

" Alas ! your father consented. Whereupon the knave 
began to dance and play upon his drum like one frenzied ; so 
that it was evident to see the spirit was working within him. 
Then he fell down like one dead, and cried, < Woe to thee 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



when thy house is burning ! Woe to thee when thy house is 
burning ! ' 

" Therefore be warned, my son ; have nothing to do with 
this fellow, for it so happened even as he said. On the i ith 
December '57, our castle was burned, and your poor father 
had a rib broken in consequence. Would that I had been 
the rib broken for him, so that he might still reign over the 
land; and this was the true cause of his untimely death. 
Therefore dismiss this sorcerer, for it is Satan himself speaks 
in him." 

Here Sidonia grew quite pale, and dropped the thread, as 
if taken suddenly ill. Then she prayed the Duchess to 
excuse her, and permit her to retire to her own room. 

The moment the Duchess gave permission, Sidonia glided 
out ; but, in place of going to her chamber, she threw her- 
self in a languid attitude upon a seat in the corridor, just 
where she knew Prince Ernest must pass, and leaned her 
head upon her hand. He soon came out of his mother's 
room, and seeing Sidonia, took her hand tenderly, asking, 
with visible emotion — 

" Dear lady, what has happened ? " 

" Ah," she answered, " I am so weak that I cannot go on 
to my little apartment. I know not what ails me ; but I am 
so afraid " 

" Afraid of what, dearest lady ? " 

" Of that sour old priest. He is to examine me to-mor- 
row in the Catechism of Gerschovius, and I cannot learn a 
word of it, do what I will. I know Luther's Catechism 
quite well " (this was a falsehood, we know), "but that does 
not satisfy him, and if I cannot repeat it he will slap my 
hands or box my ears, and my lady the Duchess will be 
more angry than ever ; but I am too old now to learn cate- 
chisms." 

Then she trembled like an aspen-leaf, and fixed her eyes 
on him with such tenderness that he trembled likewise, and 

VOL. I. D 



50 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



drawing her arm within his, supported her to her chamber. 
On the way she pressed his hand repeatedly ; but with each 
pressure, as he afterwards confessed, a pang shot through his 
heart, which might have excited compassion from his worst 
enemy. 

When they reached her chamber, she would not let him 
enter, but modestly put him back, saying, " Leave me — ah ! 
leave me, gracious Prince. I must creep to my bed ; and in 
the meantime let me entreat you to persuade the priest not to 
torment me to-morrow morning." 

The Prince now left her, and forgetting all about the 
Lapland wizard whom he had left waiting in the courtyard, 
he rushed over the drawbridge, up the main street behind St. 
Peter's, and into the house of Dr. Gerschovius. 

The doctor was indignant at his petition. 

"My young Prince," he said, "if ever a human being 
stood in need of God's Word, it is that young maiden." At 
last, however, upon the entreaties of Prince Ernest, he con- 
sented to defer her examination for four weeks, during which 
time she could fully perfect herself in the catechism of his 
learned brother. 

He then prayed the Prince not to allow his eyes to be 
dazzled by this fair, sinful beauty, who would delude him as 
she had done all the other men in the castle, not excepting 
even that old sinner Zitsewitz. 

When the Prince returned to the castle, he found a great 
crowd assembled round the Lapland wizard, all eagerly 
asking to have their fortunes told, and Sidonia was amongst 
them, as merry and lively as if nothing had ailed her. 
When the Prince expressed his surprise, she said, that finding 
herself much relieved by lying down, she had ventured into 
the fresh air, to recreate herself, and have her fortune told. 
Would not the Prince likewise wish to hear his ? • 

So, forgetting all his mother's wise injunctions, he ad- 
vanced with Sidonia to the wizard. The Lapbnd drum, 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 51 

which lay upon his knees, was a strange instrument ; and by 
it we can see what arts Satan employs to strengthen his king- 
dom in all places and by all means. For the Laplanders 
are Christians, though they in some sort worship the devil, 
and therefore he imparts to them much of his own power. 

This drum which they use is made out of a piece of hollow 
wood, which must be either fir, pine, or birch, and which 
grows in such a particular place that it follows the course of 
the sun ; that is, the pectines, fibrae, and lineae in the 
annual rings of the wood must wind from right to left. 
Having hollowed out such a tree, they spread a skin over it, 
fastened down with little pegs ; and on the centre of the skin 
is painted the sun, surrounded by figures of men, beasts, birds, 
and fishes, along with Christ and the holy Apostles. All 
this is done with the rind of the elder-tree, chewed first 
beneath their teeth. Upon the top of the drum there is an 
index in the shape of a triangle, from which hang a number 
of little rings and chains. When the wizard wishes to pro- 
pitiate Satan and receive his power, he strikes the drum with 
a hammer made of the reindeer's horn, not so much to procure 
a sound as to set the index in motion with all its little chains^ 
that it may move over the figures, and point to whatever 
gives the required answer. At the same time the magician 
murmurs conjurations, springs sometimes up from the ground, 
screams, laughs, dances, reels, becomes black in the face, 
foams, twists his eyes, and falls to the ground at last in an 
ecstasy, dragging the drum down upon his face. 

Any one may then put questions to him, and all will come 
to pass that he answers. All this was done by the wizard ; 
but he desired strictly that when he fell upon the ground, no 
one should touch him with the foot, and secondly, that all 
flies and insects should be kept carefully from him. So after 
he had danced, and screamed, and twisted his face so horribly 
that half the women fainted, and foamed and raged until the 
demon seemed to have taken full possession of him, he fell 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



down, and then every one put questions to him, to which he 
responded ; but the answers sometimes produced weeping, 
sometimes laughing, according as some gentle maiden heard 
that her lover was safe, or that he had been struck by the 
mast on shipboard and tumbled into the sea. And all came 
out true, as was afterwards proved. 

Sidonia now invited the Prince to try his fortune ; and so, 
forgetting the admonitions of the Duchess, he said, " What 
dost thou prophesy to me ? " 

" Beware of a woman, if you would live long and happily," 
was the answer. 

" But of what woman ? " 

" I will not name her, for she is present." 

Then the Prince turned pale and looked at Sidonia, who 
grew pale also, but made no answer, only laughed, and ad- 
vancing asked, "What dost thou prophesy to me?" But 
immediately the wizard shrieked, " Away ! away ! I burn, 
I burn ! thou makest me yet hotter than I am ! " 

Many thought these exclamations referred to Sidonia' s 
beauty, particularly the young lords, who murmured, " Now 
every one must acknowledge her beauty, when even this son 
of Satan feels his heart burning when she approaches." And 
Sidonia laughed merrily at their gallantries. 

Just then the Grand Chamberlain came by, and having 
heard what had happened, he angrily dismissed the crowd, 
and sending for the executioner, ordered the cheating im- 
postor to be whipped and branded, and then sent over the 
frontier. 

The wizard, who had been lying quite stiff, now cried out 
(though he had never seen the Chamberlain before) — " Listen, 
Ulrich ! I will prophesy something to thee : if it comes not 
to pass, then punish me ; but if it does, then give me a boat 
and seven loaves, that I may sail away to-morrow to my own 
country." 

Ulrich refused to hear his prophecy ; but the wizard cried 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 53 



out — " Ulrich, this day thy wife Hedwig will die at Span- 
tekow." 

Ulrich grew pale, but only answered, " Thou liest ! how 
can that be ? " He replied, " Thy cousin Clas will visit 
her ; she will descend to the cellar to fetch him some of the 
Italian wine for which you wrote, and which arrived yesterday ; 
a step of the stairs will break as she is ascending ; she will 
fall forward upon the flask, which will cut her throat through, 
and so she will die." 

When he ceased, the alarmed Ulrich called loudly to the 
chief equerry, Appelmann, who just then came by — " Quick ! 
saddle the best racer in the stables, and ride for life to Span- 
tekow, for it may be as he has prophesied, and let us outwit 
the devil. Haste, haste, for the love of God, and I will 
never forget it to thee !" 

So the equerry rode without stop or stay to Spantekow, 
and he found the cousin Clas in the house ; but when he asked 
for the Lady Hedwig, they said, "She is in the cellar." 
So no misfortune had happened then ; but as they waited and 
she appeared not, they descended to look for her, and lo ! 
just as the wizard had prophesied, she had fallen upon the 
stairs while ascending, and there lay dead. 

The moui'nful news was brought by sunset to Wolgast, 
and Ulrich, in his despair and grief, wished to burn the Lap- 
lander ; but Prince Ernest hindered him, saying, " It is 
more knightly, Ulrich, to keep your word than to cool your 
vengeance." So the old man stood silent a long space, and 
then said, "Well, young man, if you abandon Sidonia, I 
will release the Laplander." 

The Prince coloured, and the Lord Chamberlain thought 
that he had discovered a secret ; but as the prophecy of the 
wizard came again into Prince Ernest's mind, he said — 

" Well, Ulrich, I will give up the maiden Sidonia. Here 
is my hand." 

Accordingly, next morning the wizard was released from 



54 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



prison and given a boat, with seven loaves and a pitcher of 
water, that he might sail back to his own country. The 
wind, however, was due north, but the people who crossed 
the bridge to witness his departure were filled with fear 
when they saw him change the wind at his pleasure to suit 
himself ; for he pulled out a string full of knots, and having 
swung it about, murmuring incantations, all the vanes on 
the towers creaked and whirled right about, all the wind- 
mills in the town stopped, all the vessels and boats that were 
going up the stream became quite still, and their sails flapped 
on the masts, for the wind had changed in a moment from 
north to south, and the north waves and the south waves 
clashed together. 

As every one stood wondering at this,, the sailors and 
fishermen in particular, the wis^rd sprang into his boat and 
set forth with a fair wind, singing loudly, " Jooike Duara ! 
Jooike Duara ! " * and soon disappeared from sight, nor was 
he ever again seen in that country. 



CHAPTER Vn. 

How Ulrich von Schwerin buries his spouse ^ and Doctor 
Gerschovius comforts him out of God* s Word, 

This affair with the Lapland wizard much troubled the 
Grand Chamberlain, and his faith suffered sore temptations. 
So he referred to Dr. Gerschovius, and asked him how the 
prophets of God differed from those of the devil. Where- 
upon the doctor recommended him to meditate on God's 
Word, wherein he would find a source of consolation and a 
solution of all doubts. 

So the mourning Ulrich departed for his castle of Span- 

• This is the beginning of a magic rhyme, chanted even by the dis- 
tant Calmucks — namely, Dschie jo eie jog. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 55 



tekow, trusting in the assistance of God. And her Grace, 
with all her court, resolved to attend the funeral also, to do 
him honour. They proceeded forth, therefore, dressed in 
black robes, their horses also caparisoned with black hang- 
ings, and the Duchess ordered a hundred wax lights for 
the ceremony. Sidonia alone declined attending, and gave 
out that she was sick in bed. The truth, however, was, 
that as Duke Ernest was obliged to remain at home to 
take the command of the castle, and affix his signature to 
all papers, she wished to remain also. 

The mourning cortege, therefore, had scarcely left the 
court, when Sidonia rose and seated herself at the window, 
which she knew the young Prince must pass along with his 
attendants on their way to the office of the castle. Then 
taking up a lute, which she had purchased privately, and 
practised night and morning in place of learning the catechism, 
she played a low, soft air, to attract their attention. So all 
the young knights looked up ; and when Prince Ernest 
arrived he looked up also, and seeing Sidonia, exclaimed, 
with surprise, " Beautiful Sidonia, how have you learned the 
lute ? " At which she blushed and answered modestly, 
" Gracious Prince, I am only self-taught. No one here 
understands the lute except your Highness." 

" Does this employment, then, give you much pleasure ? " 
Ah, yes ! If I could only play it well ; I would give 
half my life to learn it properly. There is no such sweet 
enjoyment upon earth, I think, as this." 

" But you have been sick, lady, and the cold air will do 
you an injury." 

" Yes, it is true I have been ill, but the air rather refreshes 
me ; and besides, I feel the melancholy of my solitude less 
here." 

" Now farewell, dear lady ; I must attend to the business 
of the castle." 

This little word — " dear lady " — gave Sidonia such con- 



56 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



fidence, that by the time she expected Prince Ernest to pass 
again on his return, she was seated at the window awaiting 
him with her lute, to which she now sang in a clear, sweet 
voice. But the Prince passed on as if he heard nothing — 
never even once looked up, to Sidonia's great mortification. 
However, the moment he reached his own apartment, he 
commenced playing a melancholy air upon his lute, as if in 
response to hers. The artful young maiden no sooner heard 
this than she opened her door. The Prince at the same 
instant opened his to let out the smoke, and their eyes met, 
when Sidonia uttered a feeble cry and fell fainting upon the 
floor. The Prince, seeing this, flew to her, raised her up, and 
trembling with emotion, carried her back to her room and 
laid her down upon the bed. Now indeed it was well for 
him that he had given that promise to Ulrich. When Sidonia 
after some time slowly opened her eyes, the Prince asked 
tenderly what ailed her ; and she said, " I must have taken 
cold at the window, for I felt very ill, and went to the door 
to call an attendant ; but I must have fainted then, for I re- 
member nothing more." Alas! the poor Prince, he believed 
all this, and conjured her to lie down until he called a maid, 
and sent for the physician if she desired it; but, no — she 
refused, and said it would pass off soon. (Ah, thou cunning 
maiden ! it may well pass off when it never was on. ) 

However, she remained in bed until the next day, when the 
Princess and her train returned home from the funeral. Her 
Grace had assisted at* the obsequies with all princely state, 
and even laid a crown of rosemary with her own hand upon 
the head of the corpse, and a little prayer-book beside it, open 
at that fine hymn "Pauli Sperati" (which also was sung 
over the grave). Then the husband laid a tin crucifix on the 
coflin, with the inscription from i John iii. 8 — " The Son 
of God was manifested that He might destroy the works of the 
devil." After which the coflin was lowered into the grave 
with many tears. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 57 



Some days after this, being Sunday, Doctor Gerschovius 
and the Grand Chamberlain were present at the ducal table. 
Ulrich indeed ate little, for he was filled with grief, only 
sipped a little broth, into which he had crumbled some rein- 
deer cheese, not to appear ungracious ; but when dinner was 
over, he raised his head, and asked Doctor Gerschovius to 
inform him now in what lay the difference between the prophets 
of God and those of the devil. The Duchess was charmed 
at the prospect of such a profitable discourse, and ordered a 
cushion and footstool to be placed for herself, that she might 
remain to hear it. Then she sent for the whole household — 
maidens, squires, and pages — ^that they too might be edified, 
and learn the true nature of the devil's gifts. The hall was 
soon as full, therefore, as if a sermon were about to be preached ; 
and the doctor, seeing this, stroked his beard, and he begun 
as follows : * — 

* Perhaps some readers will hold the rationalist doctrine that no 
prophecy is possible or credible, and that no mortal can under any 
circumstances see into futurity ; but how then can they account for the 
wonderful phenomena of animal magnetism, which are so well authen- 
ticated? Do they deny all the facts which have been elicited by the 
great advance made recently in natural and physiological philosophy ? 
I need not here bring forward proofs from the ancients, showing their 
universal belief in the possibility of seeing into futurity, nor a cloud of 
witnesses from our modern philosophers, attesting the truth of the 
phenomena of somnambulism, but only observe that this very Academy 
of Paris, which in 1784 anathematised Mesmer as a quack, a cheat, 
and a charlatan or fool, and which in conjunction with all the academies 
of Europe (that of Berlin alone excepted) reviled his doctrines and 
insulted all who upheld them, as witches had been reviled in preced- 
ing centuries, and compelled Mesmer himself to fly for protection to 
Frankfort — this very academy, I say, on the 12th February 1826, 
rescinded all their condemnatory verdicts, and proclaimed that the 
wonderful phenomena of animal magnetism had been so well authen- 
ticated that doubt was no longer possible. This confession of faith was 
the more remarkable, because the members of the commission of 
inquiry had been carefully selected, on purpose, from physicians who 
were totally adverse to the doctrines of Mesmer. 

There are but two modes, I think, of explaining these extraordinary 
phenomena— either by supposing them effected by supernatural agency. 



58 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



I am rejoiced to treat of this subject now, considering how 
lately that demon Lapp befooled ye all. And I shall give 
you many signs, whereby in future a prophet of God may be 
distinguished from a prophet of the devil, ist, Satan's pro- 
phets are not conscious of what they utter ; but God's pro- 
phets are always perfectly conscious, both of the inspiration 
they receive and the revelations they make known. For as 
the Laplander grew frenzied, and foamed at the mouth, so it 
has been with all false prophets from the beginning. Even 
the blind heathen called prophesying manias or the wisdom of 
madness. The secret of producing this madness was known 
to them ; sometimes it was by the use of roots or aromatic 
herbs, or by exhalations, as in the case of the Pythoness, 
whose incoherent utterances were written by the priests of 
Apollo, for when the fit was over, all remembrance of what 
she had prophesied vanished too. In the Bible we find all 
false prophets described as frenzied. In Isaiah xliv. 25 — 

as all seers and diviners from antiquity, through the Middle Ages down 
to our somnambulists, have pretended that they really stood in com- 
munication with spirit ; or, by supposing that there is an innate latent 
divining element in our own natures, which only becomes evident and 
active under certain circumstances, and which is capable of revealing 
the future with more or less exactitude just as the mind can recall the 
past. For past and future are but different forms of our own subjec- 
tive intuition of time, and l>ecause this internal intuition represents no 
figure, we seek to supply the defect by an analogy. For time exists 
within us, not without us ; it is not something which subsists of itself, 
but it is the form only of our internal sense. 

These two modes of explaining the phenomena present, I know, 
great difficulties; the latter especially. However, the pantheistical 
solution of the Hegelian school adopted by Kieser, Kluge, Wirth, 
Hoffman, pleases me still less. I even prefer that of Jung-Stilling 
and Kerner — but at all events one thing is certain, the facts are there; 
only ignorance, stupidity, and obstinacy can deny them. The cause is 
still a subject of speculation, doubt, and difficulty. It is only by a 
vast induction of facts, as in natural philosophy, that we can ever hope 
to arrive at the knowledge of a general law. The crown of all creation 
is man ; therefore while we investigate so acutely all other creatures, 
let us not shrink back from the strange and unknown depths of our 
own nature which magnetism has opened to us. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 59 



" God maketh the diviners mad." In Ezekiel xiii. 3 — 
"Woe to the foolish prophets." Hosea ix. 7 — "The 
prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is mad." And Isaiah 
xxviii. 7 explains fully how this madness was produced. 

Namely, by wine and the strong drink Sekar.* Further 
examples of this madness are given in the Bible, as Saul 
when under the influence of the evil spirit flung his spear 
at the innocent David ; and the four hundred and fifty 
prophets of Baal, who leaped upon the altar, and screamed, 
and cut themselves with knives and lancets until the blood 
flowed ; and the maiden with the spirit of divination, that 
met Paul in the streets of Philippi ; with many others. 

But all this is an abomination in the sight of God. For as 
the Lord came not to His prophet Elijah in the strong wind, 
nor in the earthquake, nor in the fire, but in the still small 
voice, so does He evidence Himself in all His prophets; 
and we find no record in Scripture, either of their madness, 
or of their having forgotten the oracles they uttered, like the 
Pythoness and others inspired by Satan.f Further, you may 
observe that the false prophets can always prophesy when 
they choose, Satan is ever willing to come when they exor- 
cise him ; but the true prophets of God are but instruments 

* It is doubtful of what this drink was composed. Hieronymus and 
Aben Ezra imagine that it was of the nature of strong beer. Probably 
it resembled the potion with which the mystery-men amongst the 
savages of the present day produce this divining frenzy. We find such 
in use throughout Tartary, Siberia, America, and Africa, as if the usage 
had descended to them from one common tradition. Witches, it is 
well known, made frequent use of potions, and as all somnambulists 
assert that the seat of the soul's greatest activity is in the stomach, it 
is not incredible what Van Helmont relates, that having once tasted 
the root napellus, his intellect all at once, accompanied by an unusual 
feeling of ecstasy, seemed to remove from his brain to his stomach. 

t It is well known that somnambulists never remember upon their 
recovery what they have uttered during the crisis. Therefore phe- 
nomena of this class appear to belong, in some things, to that of the 
divining frenzy, though in others to quite a different category of the 
divining life. 



62 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



CHAPTER Vni. 

How Sidonta rides upon the pet stagy and what evil conse^ 
quences result therefrom. 

When the discourse had ended, her Grace retired to her 
apartment and Ulrich to his, for it was their custom, as I 
have said, to sleep after dinner. Doctor Gerschovius re- 
turned home, and the young Prince descended to the gardens 
with his lute. Now was a fine time for the young knights, 
for they had been sadly disturbed in their carouse by that 
godly prophesying of the doctor's, and they now returned to 
their own quarter to finish it, headed by the old treasurer 
Zitsewitz. Then a merry uproar of laughing, singing, and 
jesting commenced, and as the door lay wide open as usual, 
Sidonia heard all from her chamber ; so stepping out gently 
with a piece of bread in her hand, she tripped along the 
corridor past their door. No sooner was she perceived than 
a loud storm of cheers greeted her, which she returned with 
smiles and bows, and then danced down the steps to the 
courtyard. Several rose up to pursue her, amongst whom 
Wedig and Appelmann were the most eager. 

diviners amongst the heathen were women, , For instance, Cassandra, 
the Pythia in Delphi, Triton and Peristhaea in Dodona, the Sybils, 
the Velleda of Tacitus, the Mandragoras, and Dniidesses, the 
witches of the Reformation age ; and in fine, the modem somnambules 
are all women too. But throughout the whole Bible we find that the 
prophetic power was exclusively conferred upon men, with two excep- 
tions—namely, Deborah, Judges iv. 4, and Hilda, 2 Chron. xxxiv. 22 — 
for there is no evidence that Miriam had a seer spirit ; she was probably 
only God-inspired, though classed imder the general term prophet. 
We find, indeed, that woe was proclaimed against the divining women 
who prophesy out of their own head, Ezekiel xiii. 17-23 ; so amongst 
the people of God the revelation of the future was confined to men, 
amongst the heathen to women, or if men are mentioned in these pagan 
rites, it is only as assistants and inferior agents, like animals, metals, 
roots, stones, and such like. See Cicero, De Divinatione, i. 18. 



64 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



ness ? How dare this tailor's son treat a castle and land 
dowered maiden in such a way ? Are noble ladies made for 
his kisses ? " And he draws his poignard to rush upon 
Appelmann, who draws forth his in return, and now assuredly 
there would have been murder done, if Sidonia had not just 
then opened her eyes, and starting up in amazement prayed 
them for her sake to keep quiet. She had been quite in- 
sensible, and knew nothing at all of what had happened. 
The old treasurer, with the other young knights, came up 
now, and strove to make peace between the two rivals, hold- 
ing them apart by force ; but nothing could calm the jealous 
Wedig, who still cried, "Let me avenge Sidonia! — let me 
avenge Sidonia I " So that Prince Ernest, hearing the tumult 
in the garden, ran with his lute in his hand to see what had 
happened. When they told him, he grew as pale as a corpse 
that such an indignity should have been offered to Sidonia, 
and reprimanded his equerry severely, but prayed that all 
would keep quiet now, as otherwise the Duchess and the 
Lord Chamberlain would certainly be awakened out of their 
after-dinner sleep, and then what an afternoon they would 
all have. This calmed every one, except the jealous Wedig, 
who, having drunk deeply, cried out still louder than before, 
" Let me go. I will give my life for the beautiful Sidonia. 
I will avenge the insolence of this peasant knave ! " 

When Sidonia observed all this, she felt quite certain 
that a terrible storm was brewing for all of them, and so she 
ran to shelter herself through the first open door that came 
in her way, and up into the second corridor ; but further 
adventuies awaited her here, for not being acquainted with 
this part of the castle, she ran direct into an old lumber- 
room, where she found, to her great surprise, a young man 
dressed in rusty armour, and wearing a helmet with a 
serpent crest upon his head. This was Hans von Marintzky, 
whose brain Sidonia had turned by reading the Amadis with 
him in the castle gardens, and as she had often sighed, and 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 65 



said that she, too, could have loved the serpent knight, the 
poor love-stricken Hans, taking this for a favourable sign, 
determined to disguise himself as described in the romance, 
and thus secure her love. 

So when her beautiful face appeared at the door, Hans 
screamed for joy, like a young calf, and falling on one knee, 
exclaimed — "Adored Princess, your serpent knight is here 
to claim your love, and tender his hand to you in betrothal, 
for no other wife do I desire but thee ; and if the Princess 
Rosaliana herself were here to offer me her love, I would 
strike her on the face." 

Sidonia was rather thunderstruck, as one may suppose, 
and retreated a few steps, saying, " Stand up, dear youth ; 
what ails you ? " 

" So I am dear to you," he cried, still kneeling ; "I am 
then really dear to you, adored Princess ? Ah ! I hope to 
be yet dearer when I make you my spouse." 

Sidonia had not foreseen this termination to their romance 
reading, but she suppressed her laughter, remembering how 
she had lost her lover Uckermann by showing scorn ; so she 
drew herself up with dignity, and said, with as grave a face 
as a chief mourner — 

" If you will not rise, sir knight, I must complain to her 
Highness ; for I cannot be your spouse, seeing that I have re- 
solved never to marry." (Ah ! how willingly, how willingly 
you would have taken any husband half a year after. ) " But 
if you will do me a service, brave knight, run instantly to the 
court, where Wedig and Appelmann are going to murder 
each other, and separate them, or my gracious lady and old 
Ulrich will awake, and then we shall all be punished." 

The poor fool jumped up instantly, and exclaiming, 
" Death for my adored princess ! " he sprung down the 
steps, though rather awkwardly, not being accustomed to the 
greaves ; and rushing into the middle of the crowd, with 
his vizor down, and the drawn sword in his hand, he began 

VOL. I, E 



66 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



making passes at every one that came in his way, crying, 
Death for my adored princess ! Long live the beautiful 
Sidonia ! Knaves, have done with your brawling, or I shall 
lay you all dead at my feet.*' 

At first every one stuck up close by the wall when they 
saw the madman, to get out of reach of his sword, which he 
kept whirling about his head ; but as soon as he was recog- 
nised by his voice, Wedig called out to him — 

" Help, brother, help ! Will you suffer that this peasant 
boor Appelmann should kiss the noble Sidonia as she lay 
there faint and insensible ? Yet I saw him do this. So help 
me, relieve me, that I may brand this low-born knave for his 
daring." 

" What ? My adored princess ! " exclaimed the serpent 
knight. " This valet, this groom, dared to kiss her ? and I 
would think myself blessed but to touch her shoe-tie ; " and 
he fell furiously upon Appelmann. 

The uproar was now so great that it might have aroused 
the Duchess and Ulrich even from their last sleep, had 
they been in the castle. 

But, fortunately, some time before the riot began, both had 
gone out by the little private gate, to attend afternoon service 
at St. Peter's Church, in the town. For the archdeacon 
was sick, and Doctor Gerschovius was obliged to take his 
place there. No one, therefore, was left in the castle to 
give orders or hold command ; even the castellan had gone 
to hear service ; and no one minded Prince Ernest, he was so 
young, besides being under tutelage ; and as to old Zitsewitz, 
he was as bad as the worst of them himself. 

The Prince threatened to have the castle bells rung if they 
were not quiet ; and the uproar had indeed partially subsided 
just at the moment the serpent knight fell upon Appelmann. 
The Prince then ordered his equerry to leave the place in- 
stantly, under pain of his severe displeasure, for he saw that 
both had drunk rather deeply. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 67 



So Appelmann turned to depart as the Prince commanded, 
but Wedig, who had been relieved by Hans the serpent, 
sprung after him with his dagger, limping though, for the bite 
in his hip made him stiff. Appelmann darted through the 
little water-gate and over the bridge ; the other pursued him ; 
and Appelmann, seeing that he was foaming with rage, 
jumped over the rails into a boat. Wedig attempted to do 
the same, but being stiff from the bite, missed the boat, and 
came down plump into the water. 

As he could not swim, the current carried him rapidly 
down the stream before the others had time to come up ; 
but he was still conscious, and called to Hans, " Comrade, 
save me ! " So Hans, forgetting his heavy cuirass, plunged 
in directly, and soon reached the drowning man. Wedig, 
however, in his death-struggles, seized hold of him with such 
force that they both instantly disappeared. Then every one 
sprang to the boats to try and save them ; but being Sunday, 
the boats were all moored, so that by the time they were un- 
fastened it was too late, and the two unfortunate young men 
had sunk for ever. 

What calamities may be caused by the levity and self-will 
of a beautiful woman ! From the time of Helen of Troy up 
to the present moment, the world has known this well ; but, 
alas ! this was but the beginning of that tragedy which 
Sidonia played in Pomerania, as that other wanton did in 
Phrygia. 

Let us hear the conclusion, however. Prince Ernest, now 
being truly alarmed, despatched a messenger to the church for 
her Highness ; but as Doctor Gerschovius had not yet ended 
his exordium, her Grace would by no means be disturbed, and 
desired the messenger to go to Ulrich, who no sooner heard 
the tidings than he rushed down to the water-gate. 

There he found a great crowd assembled, all eagerly trying, 
with poles and hooks, to fish out the bodies of the two young 
men ; and one fellow even had tied a piece of barley bread to 



68 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



a rope, and flung it into the water — as the superstition goes 
that it will follow a corpse in the stream, and point to where 
it lies. And the women and children were weeping and 
lamenting on the bridge ; but the old knight pushed them all 
aside with his elbows, and cried — " Thousand devils ! what 
are ye all at here ? " 

Every one was silent, for the young men had agreed not to 
betray Sidonia. Then Ulrich asked the Prince, who replied, 
that Marintzky, having put on some old armour to frighten 
the others, as he believed, they pursued him in fun over the 
bridge, and he and another fell over into the water. This 
was all he knew of the matter, for he was playing on the lute 
in the garden when the tumult began. 

" Thousand devils ! " cries Ulrich ; " I cannot turn my 
back a moment but there must be a riot amongst the young 
fellows. Listen! young lord — when it comes to your turn 
to rule land and people, I counsel you, send all the young 
fellows to the devil. Away with them ! they are a vain and 
dissolute crew. Get up the bodies, if you can ; but, for 
my part, I would care little if a few more were baptized in 
the same way. Speak ! some of you : who commenced this 
tavern broil ? Speak ! I must have an answer." 

This adjuration had its effect, for a man answered — 
" Sidonia made the young men mad, and so it all happened." 
It was her own cousin, Marcus Bork, who spoke, for which 
reason Sidonia never could endure him afterwards, and finally 
destroyed him, as shall be related in due time. 

When Ulrich found that Sidonia was the cause of all, he 
raged with fury, and commanded them to tell him* all. When 
Marcus had related the whole affair, he swore by the seven 
thousand devils that he would make her remember it, and that 
he would instantly go up to her chamber. 

But Prince Ernest stepped before him, saying, " Lord 
Ulrich, I have made you a promise — you must now make 
one to me : it is to leave this maiden in peace ; she is not to 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 69 



blame for what has happened." But Ulrich would not listen 
to him. 

" Then I withdraw my promise," said the Prince. " Now 
act as you think proper." 

" Thousand devils ! she had better give up that game," 
exclaimed Ulrich. However, he consented to leave her un- 
disturbed, and departed with vehement imprecations on her 
head, just as the Duchess returned from church, and was seen 
advancing towards the crowd. 



CHAPTER IX. 

Ho<w Stdonta makes the young Prince break his word — Item^ 
how Clara von Dewitx in vain tries to turn her from her 
evil ways. 

It may be easily conjectured what a passion her Grace fell 
into when the whole story was made knowp to her, and how 
she stormed against Sidonia. At last she entered the castle ; 
but Prince Ernest, rightly suspecting her object, slipped up 
to the corridor, and met her just as she had reached Sidonia's 
chamber. Here he took her hand, kissed it, and prayed her 
not to disgrace the young maiden, for that she was innocent 
of all the evil that had happened. 

But she pushed him away, exclaiming — "Thou disobe- 
dient son, have I not heard of thy gallantries with this girl, 
whom Satan himself has sent into my royal house ? Shame 
on thee! One of thy noble station to take the part of a 
murderess !" 

"But you have judged harshly, my mother. I never 
made love to the maiden. Leave her in peace, and do not 
make matters worse, or all the young nobles will fight to the 
death for her." 

"Ay, and thou, witless boy, the first of all. Oh, that 



70 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



my beloved spouse, Philippus Primus, could rise from his 
grave — what would he say to his lost son, who, like the 
prodigal in Scripture, loves strange women and keeps com- 
pany with brawlers ! " (Weeping.) 

" Who has said that I am a lost son ? " 

" Doctor Gerschovius and Ulrich both say it." 

" Then I shall run the priest through the body, and chal- 
lenge the knight to mortal combat, unless they both retract 
their words." 

" No ! stay, my son," said the Duchess ; " I must have 
mistaken what they said. Stay, I command you ! " 

" Never ! Unless Sidonia be left in peace, such deeds 
will be done to-day that all Pomerania will ring with them 
for years." 

In short, the end of the controversy was, that the Duchess 
at last promised to leave Sidonia unmolested ; and then re- 
tired to her chamber much disturbed, where she was soon 
heard singing the 109th psalm, with a loud voice, accom- 
panied by the little spindle clock. 

Sidonia, who was hiding in her room, soon heard of all 
that had happened, through the Duchess's maid, whom she 
kept in pay 5 — ^indeed, all the servants were her sworn friends, 
in consequence of the liberal largess she gave them ; and even 
the young lords and knights were more distractedly in love 
with her than ever after the occurrences of the day, for her 
cunning turned everything to profit. 

So next morning, having heard that Prince Ernest was 
going to Eldena to receive the dues, she watched for him, 
probably through the key- hole, knowing he must pass her 
door. Accordingly, just as he went by, she opened it, and 
presented herself to his eyes dressed in unusual elegance and 
coquetry, and wearing a short robe which showed her pretty 
little sandals. The Prince, when he saw the short robe, 
and that she looked so beautiful, blushed, and passed on 
quickly, turning away his head, for he remembered the 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 71 



promise he had given to Ulrich, and was afraid to trust him- 
self near her. 

But Sidonia stepped before him, and flinging herself at his 
feet, began to weep, murmuring, " Gracious Prince and 
Lord, accept my gratitude, for you alone have saved me, a 
poor young maiden, from destruction." 

** Stand up, dear lady, stand up." 

"Never until my tears fall upon your feet." And then 
she kissed his yellow silk hose ardently, continuing, " What 
would have become of me, a helpless, forlorn orphan, without 
your protection ? " 

Here the young Prince could no longer restrain his emo- 
tions ; if he had pledged his word to the whole world, even 
to the great God Himself, he must have broken it. So he 
raised her up and kissed her, which she did not resist ; only 
sighed, " Ah ! if any one saw us now, we would both be 
lost." But this did not restrain him, and he kissed her 
again and again, and pressed her to his heart, when she 
trembled, and murmui ed scarcely audibly, " Oh ! why do I 
love you so ! Leave me, my lord, leave me ; I am miser- 
able enough." 

" Do you then love me, Sidonia ? Oh 1 let me hear you 
say it once more. You love me, enchanting Sidonia ! " 

" Alas ! " she whispered, while her whole frame trembled, 
" what have I foolishly said ? Oh ! I am so unhappy." 

" Sidonia ! tell me once again you love me. I cannot 
credit my happiness, for you are even more gracious with the 
young nobles than with me, and often have you martyred my 
heart with jealousy." 

" Yes ; I am courteous to them all, for so my father taught 
me, and said it was safer for a maiden so to be — but " 

" But what ? Speak on." 

" Alas ! " and here she covered her fece with her hands ; 
but Prince Ernest pressed her to his heart, and kissed her, 
asking her again if she really loved him ; and she mur- 



72 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

mured a faint "yes ; " then as if the shame of such a con- 
fession had killed her, she tore herself from his arms, and 
sprang into her chamber. So the young Prince pursued 
his way to Eldena, but took so little heed about the dues 
that Ulrich shook his head over the receipts for half a year 
after. 

When mid-day came, and the band struck up for dinner, 
Sidonia was prepared for a similar scene with the young 
knights, and, as she passed along the corridor, she gave 
them her white hand to kiss, glittering with diamonds, 
thanking them all for not having betrayed her, and praying 
them to keep her still in their favour, whereat they were all 
wild with ecstasy ; but old Zitsewitz, not content with her 
hand, entreated for a kiss on her sweet ruby lips, which she 
granted, to the rage and jealousy of all the others, while he 
exclaimed, " O Sidonia, thou canst turn even an old man 
into a fool ! " 

And his words came true ; for in the evening a dispute 
arose as to which of them Sidonia liked best, seeing that 
she uttered the same sweet things to all ; and to settle it, 
five of them, along with the old fool Zitsewitz, went to 
Sidonia's room, and each in turn asked her hand in mar- 
riage ; but she gave them all the same answer — that she 
had no idea then of marriage, she was but a young, silly 
creature, and would not know her own mind for ten years 
to come. 

One good resulted from Sidonia's ride upon the stag : her 
promenades were forbidden, and she was restricted hence- 
forth entirely to the women's quarter of the castle. Her 
Grace and she had frequent altercations ; but with Clara she 
kept upon good terms, as the maiden was of so excellent and 
mild a disposition. 

This peace, however, was destined soon to be broken ; for 
though her Grace was silent in the presence of Sidonia, yet she 
never ceased complaining in private to the maids of honour 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 73 



of this artful wench, who had dared to throw her eyes upon 
Prince Ernest, So at length they asked why her Highness 
did not dismiss the girl from her service. 

"That must be done," she replied, "and without delay. 
For that purpose, indeed, I have written to Duke Barnim, 
and also to the father of the girl, at Stramehl, acquainting 
them with my intention." 

Clara now gendy remonstrated, saying that a little Chris- 
tian instruction might yet do much for the poor young sinner, 
and that if she did not become good and virtuous under the 
care of her Grace, where else could she hope to have her 
changed ? 

" I have tried all Christian means," said her Grace, " but 
In vain. The ears of the wicked are closed to the Word of 
God." 

" But let her Grace recollect that this poor sinner was 
endowed with extraordinary beauty, and therefore it was no 
fault of hers if the young men all grew deranged for love 
of her." 

Here a violent tumult, and much scornful laughing, arose 
amongst the other maids of honour ; and one Anna Lepels 
exclaimed — " I cannot imagine in what Sidonia's wonderful 
beauty consists. When she flatters the young men, and 
makes free with them as they are passing to dinner, what 
marvel if they all run after her ? Any girl might have as 
many lovers if she chose to adopt such manners." 

Clara made no reply, but turning to her Grace, said with 
her permission she would leave her spinning for a while, 
to visit Sidonia in her room, who perhaps would hearken to 
her advice, as she meant kindly to her. 

"You may go," said her Grace; "but what do you 
mean to do ? I tell you, advice is thrown away on her." 

" Then I will threaten her with the Catechism of Doctor 
Gerschovius, which she must repeat on Sunday, for I know 
that she is greatly afraid of that and the clergyman." 



74 



SIDÜNIA THE SORCKIIESS 



"And you think you will frighten her into giving up 
running after the young men ? " 

"Oh yes, if I tell her that she will be publicly repri- 
manded unless she can say it perfectly/' 

So her Grace allowed her to depart, but with something 
of a weak faith. 

Although Sidonia had absented herself from the spinning, 
on the pretext of learning the catechism quietly in her own 
room, yet, when Clara entered, no one was there except 
the maid, who sat upon the floor at her work. She knew 
nothing about the young lady ; but as she heard a great deal 
of laughter and merriment in the court beneath, it was likely 
Sidonia was not far off. On stepping to the window, Clara 
indeed beheld Sidonia. 

In the middle of the court was a large horse-pond built 
round with stones, to which the water was conducted by 
metal pipes communicating with the river Peene. In the 
middle of the pond was a small island, upon which a bear 
was kept chained. A plank was now thrown across the 
pond to the island ; upon this Sidonia was standing feeding 
the bear with bread, which Appel mann, who stood beside 
her, first dipped into a can of syrup, and several of the young 
squires stood round them laughing and jesting. 

The idle young pages were wont to take great delight in 
shooting at the bear with blunt arrows, and when it growled 
and snarled, then they would calm it again by throwing over 
bits of bread steeped in honey or syrup. So Sidonia, 
waiting to see the fun, had got upon the plank ready to give 
the bread just as the bear had got to the highest pitch of 
irritation, when he would suddenly change his growling into 
another sort of speech after his fashion. All this amused 
Sidonia mightily, and she laughed and clapped her hands 
with delight. 

When the modest Clara beheld all this, and how Sidonia 
danced up and down on the plank, while the water splashed 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 75 



over her robe, she called to her — " Dear Lady Sidonia, come 
hither : I have somewhat to tell thee." But she answered 
tartly — " Dear Lady Clara, keep it then : I am too young 
to be told everything." And she danced up and down on 
the plank as before. 

After many vain entreaties, Clara had at length to de- 
scend and seize the wild bird by the wing — I mean thereby 
the arm — ^and carry her off to the castle. The young men 
would have followed, but they were engaged to attend his 
Highness on a fishing excursion that afternoon, and were 
obliged to go and see after their nets and tackle. So the 
two maidens could walk up and down the corridor un- 
disturbed; and Clara asked if she had yet learned the 
catechism. 

Ilia, — " No ; I have no wish to learn it." 
Hac, — " But if the priest has to reprimand you publicly 
from the pulpit ? " 

Ilia. — " 1 counsel him not to do it." 

Hac, — " Why, what would you do to him ? " 

lUa, — " He will find that out." 

Hac. — " Dear Sidonia, I wish you well ; and therefore 
let me tell you that not only the priest, but our gracious 
lady, and all the noble maidens of the court, are sad and 
displeased that you should make so free with the young men, 
and entice them to follow you, as I have seen but too often 
myself. Do it not, dear Sidonia ! I mean well by you ; — 
do it not. It will injure your reputation." 

Ilia. — " Ha ! you are jealous now, you little pious house- 
sparrow, that the young men do not run after you too. How 
can I help it ? " 

Hac. — " Every maiden can help it ; were she as beautiful 
as could be seen, she can help it. Leave off, Sidonia, or evil 
will come of it, particularly as her Grace has heard that you 
are seeking to entice our young lord the Prince. See, I tell 
you the pure truth, that it may turn you from your light 



76 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



courses. Tell me, what can you mean by it? — for when 
noble youths demand your hand in marriage, you reject 
them, and say you never mean to marry. Can you think 
that our gracious Prince, a son of Pomerania, will make 
thee his duchess — ^thou who art only a common nobleman's 
daughter ? " 

Ilia, — " A common nobleman's daughter ! — that is good 
from the peasant-girl. You are common enough and low 
enough, I warrant; but my blood is as old as that of the 
Dukes of Pomerania, and besides, I am a castle and land 
dowered maiden. But who are you ? who are you ? Your 
forefathers were hunted out of Mecklenburg, and only got 
footing here in Pomerania out of charity." 

Hac. — " Do not be angry, dear lady — you say true ; yet 
I must add that my forebears were once Counts in Meck- 
lenburg, and from their loyalty to the Dukes of Pomerania 
were given possessions here in Daber, where they have been 
lords of castles and lands for two hundred and fifty years. 
Yet I will confess that your race is nobler than mine ; but, 
dear child, I make no boast of my ancestry, nor is it fitting 
for either of us to do so. The right royal Prince, who is 
given as an example and model to us all — who is Lord, not 
over castle and land, but of the heavens and the earth — ^the 
Saviour, Jesus Christ — He took no account of His arms 
or His ancestry, though the whole starry universe was His 
banner. He was as humble to the little child as to the learned 
doctors in the temple — to the chiefs among the people, as to 
the trembling sinner and the blind beggar Bartimxus. Let 
us take, then, this Prince for our example, and mind our 
life long what He says — * Come unto Me, and learn of Me, 
for I am meek and lowly of heart.' Will you not learn of 
Him, dear lady ? I will, if God give me grace." 

And she extended her hand to Sidonia, who dashed it 
away, crying — "Stuff! nonsense! you have learned all this 
twaddle from the priest, who, I know, is nephew to the shoe- 



SIDONIA. THE SORCERESS 



maker in Daber, and therefore hates any one who is above 
him in rank." 

Clara was about to reply mildly ; but they happened now 
to be standing close to the public flight of steps, and a pea- 
sant-girl ran up when she saw them, and flung herself at 
Clara's feet, entreating the young lady to save her, for she 
had run away from Daber, where they were going to burn 
her as a witch. The pious Clara recoiled in horror, and 
desiring her to rise, said — "Art thou Anne Wolde, some 
time keeper of the swine to my father ? How fares it with 
my dearest father and my mother ? " 

They were well when she ran away, but she had been 
wandering now for fourteen days on the road, living upon 
roots and wild berries, or what the herds gave her out of 
their knapsacks for charity. 

Hac, — " What crime wast thou suspected of, giil, to be 
condemned to so terrible a death ? " 

Ilia, — " She had a lover named Albert, who followed her 
everywhere, but as she would not listen to him he hated her, 
and pretended that she had given him a love-drink." 

Here Sidonia laughed aloud, and asked if she knew how 
to brew the love-drink ? 

Ilia. — " Yes ; she learned from her elder sister how to 
make it, but had never tried it with any one, and was per- 
fectly innocent of all they charged her with." 

Here Clara shook her head, and wished to get rid of the 
witch-girl ; for she thought, truly if Sidonia learns the brew- 
ing secret, she will poison and destroy the whole castleful, and 
we shall have the devil bodily with us in earnest. So she 
pushed away the girl, who still clung to her, weeping and 
lamenting. Hereupon Sidonia grew quite grave and pious 
all of a sudden, and said — 

" See the hypocrite she is ! She first sets before me the 
example of Christ, and then treats this poor sinner with 
nothing but cross thorns ! Has not Christ said, < Blessed 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



8i 



this lute that I have purchased for you in Grypswald. Will 
it please thee, sweet one ? 

Ilia. — " Alas, gracious Prince, of what use will it be to me, 
when I have no one to teach me how to play ? " 

" I will teach thee, oh, how willingly, but — ^thou knowest 
what I would say." 

Ilia, — "No, no, I dare not learn from your Highness. 
Now go, and do not make me more miserable." 

" What makes thee miserable, enchanting Sidonia ? " 

lUa. — " Ah, if your Highness could know how this heart 
burns within me like a fire ! What will become of me ? 
Would that I were dead— oh, I am a miserable maiden ! 
If your Highness were but a simple noble, then I might hope 
— but now. Woe is me ! I must go ! Yes, I must go ! " 

"Why must thou go, my own sweet darling? and why 
dost thou wish me to be only a simple noble ? Canst thou 
not love a duke better than a noble ? " 

Ilia, — " Gracious Prince, what is a poor count's daughter 
to your princely Highness ? and would her Grace ever con- 
sent ? Ah no, I must go— I must go ! " 

Here she sobbed so violently, and covered her eyes with 
her hands, that the young Duke could no longer restrain 
his feelings. He seized her passionately in his arms, and 
was kissing away the crocodile tears, when lo, another knock 
came to the door, and Sidonia grew paler even than the first 
time, for there was no place to hide the Prince in, as the 
witch-wench was already under the bed, and not even quite 
hidden, for some of her red petticoat was visible round the 
post, and one could easily see by the way it moved that some 
living body was in it, for the girl was trembling with the 
most horrible fear and fright. But the Prince was too ab- 
sorbed in love either to notice all this or to mind the knock 
at the door. 

Sidonia, however, knew well that it was over with them 
now, and she pushed away the young Prince, just as the door 

VOL. 1. F 



82 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



opened and Clara entered, who grew quite pale, and clasped 
her hands together when she saw the Duke and Sidonia to- 
gether ; then the tears fell fast from her eyes, and she could 
utter nothing but — "Ah, my gracious Prince — my poor 
innocent Prince — what has brought you here ? " but neither of 
them spoke a word. " You are lost," exclaimed Clara ; " the 
Duchess is coming up the corridor, and has just stopped 
to look at her pet cat and the kittens there by the page's 
room. Hasten, young Prince — hasten to meet her before she 
comes a step further." 

So the young lord darted out of the chamber, and found 
his gracious mother still examining her kittens, whereupon he 
prayed her then to descend with him to the courtyard and 
look also at his fine hounds, to which she consented. 

The moment Prince Ernest disappeared, Clara commenced 
upbraiding Sidonia for her evil ways, which could not be any 
longer denied — for had she not seen all with her own eyes ? — 
and she now conjured her by the living God to turn away 
from the young Duke, and select some noble of her own rank 
as her husband. This could easily be done when so many 
loved her; but as to the Prince, as long as her Grace and 
Ulrich lived, or even one single branch of the princely house 
of Pomerania, this marriage would never be permitted, let the 
young lord do or say what he chose. 

" Ah, thou pious old priest in petticoats," exclaimed Sidonia, 
" who told thee I wanted to marry the Prince ? How can I 
help if he chooses to come in here and, though I weep and 
resist, takes me in his arms and kisses me ? So leave off thy 
preaching, and tell me rather what brings thee spying to my 
room ? " 

Then Clara remembered what had really been her errand, 
although the love-scene had put everything else out of her 
head until now, and replied — " I was seeking the witch-girl 
from Daber, for when I went out with her Grace, I left her 
in charge of my maid ; but as we returned home by the little 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 83 



garden gate, I slipped up to my room by the private stairs 
without any one seeing me, and found my maid looking out of 
the window, but no girl was to be seen. When I asked what 
had become of her, the maid answered she knew not, the girl 
must have slipped away while her back was turned, so I came 
here to ask if you had seen the impudent hussy, for I fear if 
her wings are not clipped she will do harm to some one." 

Here Sidonia grew quite indignant — what could she know 
of a vile witch-wench ? Besides, she had not been ten minutes 
there in the room. 

"But perchance the bird has found herself a nest some- 
where," said Clara, looking towards the bed; "methinks, 
indeed, I see some of the feathers, for surely a red gown 
never trembled that way under a bed unless there was some- 
thing living inside of it." When the witch-girl heard this her 
fright increased, so that, to make matters worse, she pulled 
her gown in under the bed, upon which Clara kneeled down, 
lifted the coverlet, and found the owl in its nest. Now she 
had to creep out weeping and howling, and promised to tell 
everything. 

But Sidonia gave her a look which she understood well, 
and therefore when she stood up straight by the bed, begged 
pitcously that the Lady Clara would not scold her for having 
tried to escape, because she herself had threatened her with 
being burned there as well as at Daber, so not knowing 
where to hide, and seeing the Lady Sidonia's door open, she 
crept in there and got under the bed, intending to wait till 
night came and then ask her aid in effecting her flight, for 
the Lady Sidonia was the only one in the castle who had 
shown her Christian compassion. 

Hereat Sidonia rose up as if in great rage, and said, 
" Ha ! thou impudent wench, how darest thou reckon on my 
protection ! " and seizing her by the hand — in which, how- 
ever, she pressed a piece of gold — ^pushed her violently out of 
the door. 



84 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



Now Clara, thinking that this was the whole truth, fell 
weeping upon Sidonia's neck, and asked forgiveness for her 
suspicions. "There, that will do," said Sidonia, — "that 
will do, old preacher; only be more cautious in future. 
What! am I to poke under my bed to see if any one is 
hiding there ? You may go, for I suppose you have often 
hidden a lover there, your eyes turn to it so naturally." 

As Clara grew red with shame, Sidonia drew the witch- 
girl again into the room, and giving her a box on the ear that 
made her teeth chatter — " Now, confess," said she, " what 
I said to the young lord without knowing that you were 
listening." So the poor girl answered weeping, "Nothing 
but what was good did you say to him, namely, that he 
should go away ; and then you pushed him so violently 
when he attempted to kiss you, that he stumbled over against 
the bed." 

" See, now, my pious preacher," said Sidonia, " this girl 
confirms exactly what I told you ; so now go along with 
you, you hussy, or mayhap you will come off no better than 
she has done." 

Hereupon Clara went away humbly with the witch-girl 
to her own room, and never uttered another word. Never- 
theless the affair did not seem quite satisfactory to her yet. 

So she conferred with her betrothed, Marcus Bork, on the 
subject. For when he carried books for her Highness from 
the ducal library, it was his custom to scrape with his feet in 
a peculiar manner as he passed Clara's door ; then she knew 
who it was, and opened it. And as her maid was present, 
they conversed together in the Italian tongue ; for they were 
both learned, not only in God's Word, but in all other know- 
ledge, 80 that people talk about them yet in Pomeranian land 
for these things. 

Clara therefore told him the whole affair in Italian, before 
her maid and the witch-girl — of the visit of the young Prince, 
and how the girl was lying hid under the bed, and asked him 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 8j 



was it not likely that Sidonia had brought her there to teach 
her how to brew the love-drink, with which öhe would then 
have bewitched the Prince and all the men-folk in the castle, 
and ought she not to warn her Grace of the danger. 

But Marcus answered, that if the witch-girl had been at 
the castle weeks before, he might have supposed that Sidonia 
had received the secret of the love-potion from her, since 
every man, old and young, was mad for love of her — but 
now he must needs confess that Sidonia's eyes and deceiving 
mouth were magic sufficient; and that it was not likely she 
would bring a vile damsel to her room to teach her that 
which she knew already so perfectly. So he thought it 
better not to tell her Highness anything on the subject. 
Besides, if the wench were examined, who knows what she 
might tell of Sidonia and the young lord that would bring 
shame on the princely house of Wolgast, since she had 
been hid under the bed all the time, and perhaps only kept 
silence through fear. It were well therefore on every 
account not to let the matter get wind, and to shut up the 
wench safely in the witches' tower until the answer came 
from Daber. If she were pronounced really guilty, it 
would then be time enough to question her on the rack about 
the love-drink and the conversation between the young lord 
and Sidonia. 

So this course was agreed on. It is, however, much to 
be regretted that Clara did not follow the promptings of her 
good angel, and tell all to her Grace and old Ulrich ; for 
then much misfortune and scandal would have been spared to 
the whole Pomeranian land. But she followed her bride- 
groom's advice, and kept all secret. The witch-girl, how- 
ever, was locked up that very day in the witches' tower, to 
guard against future evil. 



86 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



CHAPTER XL 

How Sidonia repeated the catechism of Dr. Gerschoviur, and 
how she whipped the young Casimir^ out of pure evil' 
mindedness. 

The Sunday came at last when Sidonia was to be examined 
publicly in the catechism of Dr. Gerschovius. Her Grace 
was filled with anxiety to see how all would terminate, for 
every one suspected (as indeed was the case) that not one 
word of it would she be able to repeat. So the church 
was crowded, and all the young men attended without 
exception, knowing what was to go forward, and fearing 
for Sidonia, because this Dr. Gerschovius was a stern, harsh 
man ; but she herself seemed to care little about the matter, 
for she entered her Grace's closet as usual (which was right 
opposite the pulpit), and threw herself carelessly into a corner. 
However, when the doctor entered the pulpit she became 
more grave, and finally, when his discourse was drawing near 
to the close, she rose up quietly and glided out of the closet, 
intending to descend to the gardens. Her Grace did not 
perceive her movement, in consequence of the hat with the 
heron's plume which she wore, for the feathers drooped 
down at the side next Sidonia, and the other ladies were too 
much alarmed to venture to draw her attention to the circum- 
stance. But the priest from the pulpit saw her well, and 
called out — " Maiden ! maiden ! Whither go you ? Re- 
member ye have to repeat your catechism ! " 

Then Sidonia grew quite pale, for her Grace and all the 
congregation fixed their eyes on her. So when she felt quite 
conscious that she was looking pale, she said, " You see 
from my face that I am not well ; but if I get better, doubt 
not but that I shall return immediately." Here all the 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



maids of honour put up their kerchiefs to hide their laughter, 
and the young nobles did the same. 

So she went away ; but they might wait long enough, I 
think, for her to come back. In vain her Grace watched 
until the priest left the pulpit, and then sent two of her ladies 
to look for the hypocrite ; but they returned declaring that 
she was nowhere to be seen. 

Summa. — ^The whole service was ended, and her Grace 
looked as angry as the doctor; and when the organ had 
ceased, and the people were beginning to depart, she called 
out from her closet — 

" Let every one come this way, and accompany me to 
Sidonia's apartment. There I shall make her repeat the 
catechism before ye all. Messengers shall be despatched in 
all directions until they find out her hiding-place." 

This pleased the doctor and Ulrich well. So they all 
proceeded to Sidonia's little room ; for there she was, to 
their great surprise, seated upon a chair with a smelling- 
bottle in her hand. Whereupon her Grace demanded what 
ailed her, and why she had not stayed to repeat the cate- 
chism. 

Ilia. — " Ah I she was so weak, she would certainly have 
fainted, if she had not descended to the garden for a little 
fresh air. She was so distressed that her Grace had been 
troubled sending for her, of which she was not aware until 
now." 

" Are you better now ? " asked her Grace. 
Ilia. — " Rather better. The fresh air had done her 
good." 

" Then," quoth her Grace, " you shall recite the catechism 
here for the doctor ; for, in truth, Christianity is as necessary 
to you as water to a fish." 

The doctor now cleared his throat to begin; but she 
stopped him pertly, saying — 

" I do not choose to say my catechism here in my room, 



88 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



like a little child. Grown-up maidens are always heard in 
the church." 

Howbeit, her Grace motioned to him not to heed her. So 
to his first question she replied rather snappishly, " You have 
your answer already." 

No wonder the priest grew black with rage. But seeing a 
book lying open on a little table beside her bed, and thinking 
it was the catechism of Dr. Gerschovius which she had been 
studying, he stepped over to look. But judge his horror when 
he found that it was a volume of the Amadis de Gaul^ and 
was lying open at the eighth chapter, where he read — " How 
the Prince Amadis de Gaul loved the Princess Rosaliana, 
and was beloved in return, and how they both attained to the 
accomplishment of their desires." 

He dashed the book to the ground furiously, stamped upon 
it, and cried — 

" So, thou wanton, this is thy Bible and thy catechism ! 
Here thou learnest how to make young men mad ! Who 
gave thee this infamous book ? Speak ! Who gave it to 
thee?" 

So Sidonia looked up timidly, and said, weeping, " It 
was his Highness Duke Barnim who gave it to her, 
and told her it was a merry book, and good against low 
spirits." 

Here the Duchess, who had lifted up her hand to give her 
a box on the ear, let it fall again with a deep sigh when she 
heard of the old Prince having given her such an infamous 
book, and lamented loudly, crying — 

" Who will free me from this shameless wanton, who makes 
all the court mad I Truly says Scripture, * A beautiful woman 
without discretion is like a circlet of gold upon a swine's head.' 
Ah ! I know that now. But I trust my messengers will soon 
return whom I have despatched to Stettin and Stramehl, and 
then I shall get rid of thee, thou wanton, for which God be 
thanked for evermore." 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 89 



Then she turned to leave the room with old Ulrich, who 
only shook his head, but remained as mute as a fish. Doctor 
Gerschovius, however, stayed behind with Sidonia, in order 
to exhort her to virtue ; but as she only wept and did not 
seem to hear him, he grew tired, and finally went his way, 
alßo with many sighs and uplifting of his hands. 

A little after, as Sidonia was howling just out of pure ill- 
temper, for, in my opinion, nothing ailed her, the little Prince 
Casimir ran in to look for his mamma — she had gone to hear 
Sidonia her catechism, they told him. 

" What did he want with his lady mamma ? " 

" His new jerkin hurt him, he wanted her to tie it another 
way for him ; but is it really true, Sidonia, that you do not 
know your catechism ? I can say it quite well. Just come 
now and hear me say it." 

It is probable that her Grace and the doctor had devised 
this plan in order to shame Sidonia, by showing her how even 
a little child could repeat it ; but she took it angrily, and, 
calling him over, said, " Yes ; come — f will hear you your 
catechism." And as the little boy came up close beside her, 
she slung him across her knee, pulled down his hose, and — 
oh, shame ! — whipped his Serene Highness upon his princely 
podexy that it would have melted the heart of a stone. How 
this shows her cruel and evil disposition — to revenge on the 
child what she had to bear from the mother. Fie on the 
maiden ! \ 

And here my gracious Prince will say — " O Theodore, 
this matter surely might have been passed over, since it brings 
a disrespect upon my princely house." 

I answer — " Gracious Lord and Prince, my most humble 
services are due to your Grace, but truth must be still truth, 
however it may displease your Highness. Besides, by no 
other act could I have so well proved the infernal evil in 
this woman's nature ; for if she could dare to lay her godless 
hand upon one of your illustrious race, then all her future acts 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



are perfectly comprehensible.* When the malicious wretch 
let the boy go, he darted out of the room and ran down the 
whole corridor, screaming out that he would tell his mamma 
about Sidonia ; but Zitsewitz met him, and having heard the 
story, the amorous old fool took him up in his arms, and 
promised him heaps of beautiful things if he would hold his 
tongue and not say a word more to any one, and that he 
would give Sidonia a good whipping himself, in return for 
what she had done to him. So, in short, her Grace never 
heard of the insult until after Sidonia's departure from 
court." 

Had her Highness been in her apartment, she must have 
heard the child scream ; but it so happened that just then she 
was walking up and down the ducal gardens, whither she had 
gone to cool her anger. 

Soon after a stately ship was seen sailing down the river 
from Penemunde, f which attracted all eyes in the castle, for 
on the deck stood a noble youth, with a heron's plume 
waving from his cap, and he held a tame sea-gull upon his 
hand, which from time to time flew off and dived into the 
water, bringing up all sorts of fish, great and small, in its 
beak, with which it immediately flew back to the handsome 
youth. 

" Ah ! " exclaimed Clara, there must be the sons of our 
gracious Princess ! for to-morrow is her birthday, and here 
comes the noble bishop, Johann Frederick of Camyn, and his 
brother, Duke BogislafF XHI., to pay their respects to their 
gracious mother." 

* Note by Duke Bogislaff XIV. — This is true, and therefore I con- 
sent to let it remain ; and I remember that Prince Casimir told me 
long afterwards that the scene remained indelibly impressed on his 
memory. "For," he said, "the wild eyes and the terrible voice of 
the witch frightened me more even than her cruel hand ; as if even 
there I detected the devil in her, though I was but a little boy at the 
time." 

f A town in Pomerania. 



/ 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



Her Grace, however, would scarcely credit that the hand- 
some youth who was fishing after so elegant a manner was 
indeed her own beloved son ; but Clara clapped her hands 
now, crying, " Look ! your Grace — look ! there is the flag 
hoisted ! " And indeed there fluttered from the mast now 
the bishop's own arms. So the warder blew his horn, which 
was answered by the warder of St. Peter's in the town, and 
the bells in all the towers rang out, and the castellan ordered 
the cannon in the courtyard to be fired off. 

Her Grace was now thoroughly convinced, and weeping 
for joy, ran down to the little water-gate, where old Ulrich 
already stood waiting to receive the princes. As the vessel 
approached, however, they discovered that the handsome 
youth was not the bishop, but Duke BogislafF, who had been 
staying on a visit at his brother's court at Camyn, along with 
several high prelates. The bishop, Johann Frederick, did 
not accompany him, for he was obliged to remain at home, in 
order to receive a visit from the Prince of Brandenburg. 

When the Duke stepped on shore he embraced his weep- 
ing mother joyfully, and said he came to offer her his con- 
gratulations on her birthday, and that she must not weep but 
laugh, for there should be a dance in honour of it, and a right 
merry feast at the castle on the morrow. 

Then he tumbled out on the bridge all the fish which the 
bird had caught; and her Grace wondered greatly, and 
stroked it as it sat upon the shoulder of the Prince. So he 
asked if the bird pleased her Grace, and when she answered 
" Yes, " he said, " Then, dearest mother, let it be my birth- 
day gift to you. I have trained it myself, and tried it here, 
as you see, upon the river. So any afternoon that you and 
your ladies choose to amuse yourselves with, a sail, this bird 
will fish for you as long as you please, while you row down 
the river." 

Ah, what a good son was this handsome young Duke ! — 
and when I think that Sidonia murdered them all — all — even 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



95 



The maid followed the instructions right well, and in less 
than an hour every soul in the castle, down to the cooks and 
washerwomen, knew what had happened, and everywhere the 
Duchess went she was assailed by old and young, great and 
small, with petitions of pardon for Sidonia. 

Her Grace, however, bid them all be silent, and threatened 
if they made such shameless requests to forbid the festival 
altogether. But when Prince Ernest likewise petitioned in 
her favour, she was angry, and said, "He ought to be 
ashamed of himself. It was now plain what a fool the girl 
had made of him. Her maternal heart would break, she knew 
it would — and this day would be one of sorrow in place of joy 
to her J all on account of this girl." 

So the young Prince had to hold his peace for this time ; 
but he sent a message, nevertheless, to Sidonia, telling her not 
to fret, for that he would take her out of her room and bring 
her to the dance, let what would happen. 

Next morning, by break of day, the whole castle and town 
were alive with preparations for the festival. It was now 
seven years — that is, since the death of Duke Philip — since 
any one had danced in thie castle except the rats and mice, 
and even yet the splendour of this festival is talked of in 
Wolgast; and many of the old people yet living there re- 
member it well, and gave me many curious particulars thereof, 
which I shall set down here, that it may be known how such 
afFaii s were conducted in old time at our ducal courts. 

In the morning, by ten of the clock, the young princes, 
nobles, clergy, and the honourable counsellors of the town, 
assembled in the grand ducal hall, built by Duke Philip after 
the great fire, and which extended up all through the three 
stories of the castle. At the upper end of the hall was the 
grand painted window, sixty feet high, on which was delineated 
the pilgrimage of Duke Bogislaff the Great to Jerusalem, all 
painted by Gerard Horner ; * and round on the walls hung 
* A Frieslander, and the most celebrated painter on glass of his time. 



9Ö SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



banners, and shields, and helmets, and cuirasses, while all 
along each side, four feet from the ground, there were painted 
on the walls figures of all the animals found in Pomerania : 
bears, wolves, elks, stags, deer, otters, &c., all exquisitely 
imitated. 

When all the lords had assembled, the drums beat and 
trumpets sounded, whereupon the Pomeranian marshal flung 
open the great doors of the hall, which were wreathed with 
flowers from the outside, and the princely widow entered with 
great pomp, leading the little Casimir by the hand. She was 
arrayed in the Pomeranian costume — namely, a white silk 
under-robe, and over it a surcoat of azure velvet, brocaded 
with silver, and open in front. A long train of white velvet, 
embroidered in golden laurel wreaths, was supported by twelve 
pages dressed in black velvet cassocks with Spanish ruffs. 
Upon her head the Duchess wore a coif of scarlet velvet with 
small plumes, from which a white veil, spangled with silver 
stars, hung down to her feet. Round her neck she had a 
scarlet velvet band, twisted with a gold chain ; and from it 
depended a balsam flask, in the form of a greyhound, which 
rested on her bosom. 

As her Serene Highness entered with fresh and blushing 
checks, all bowed low and kissed her hand, glittering with 
diamonds. Then each offered his congratulations as best he 
could. 

Amongst them came Johann Neander, Archdeacon of St. 
Peter's, who was seeking preferment, considering that his 
present living was but a poor one ; and so he presented her 
Grace v;rith a printed tractatum dedicated to her Highness, 
in which the question was discussed whether the ten virgins 
mentioned in Matt. xxv. were of noble or citizen rank. But 
Doctor Gerschovius made a mock of him for this afterwards, 
before the whole table.* 

* Over these cxegetical disquisitions of a former age we smile, and 
with reason ; but we, pedantic Germans, have carried our modern exe- 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 97 



Now, when all the congratulations were over, the Duchess 
asked Prince Ernest if the water-works in the courtyard 
had been completed, * and when he answered «* Yes," 
" Then," quoth her Grace, " they shall run with Rostock 
beer to-day, if it took fifty tuns ; for all my people, great 
and small, shall keep festival to-day ; and I have ordered 
my court baker to give a loaf of bread and a good drink to 
every one that cometh and asketh. And now, as it is fitting, 
let us present ourselves in the church." 

So the bells rung, and the whole procession swept through 
the corridor and down the great stairs, with drums and 
trumpets going before. Then followed the marshal with his 
staff, and the Grand Chamberlain, Ulrich von Schwerin, 
wearing his beautiful hat (a present from her Highness), 
looped up with a diamond aigrette, and spangled with little 
golden stars. Then came the Duchess, supported on each 
side by the young princes, her sons ; and the nobles, knights, 
pages, and others brought up the rear, according to their 
rank and dignity. 

As they passed Sidonia's room, she began to beat the 
door and cry like a little spoiled child ; but no one minded 
her, and the procession moved on to the courtyard, where 

getical mania to such absurd lengths, that we are likely to become as 
much a laughing-stock to our contemporaries, as well as to posterity, 
as this Johannes Neander. In fact, our exegetists are mostly pitiful 
schoolmasters — word-anatomists — and one could as little learn the true 
spirit of an old classic poet from our pedantic philologists, as the true 
sense of holy Scripture from our scholastic theologians. What with 
their grammar twistings, their various readings, their dubious punctua- 
tions, their mythical, and who knows what other meanings, their hair- 
splittings, and prosy vocable tiltings, we find at last that they are 
willing to teach us everything but that which really concerns us, and, 
like the Danaides, they let the water of life run through the sieve of 
their learning. We may apply to them truly that condemnation of 
our Lord's (Matt, xxiii. 24) — "Ye blind guides; ye strain at a gnat, 
and swallow a cameL" 

* The Prince took much interest in hydraulics, and built a beautiful 
and costly aqueduct for the town of Wolgast. 

VOL. I. G 



98 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



the soldatesca fired a salute, not only from their muskets, but 
also from the great cannon called " the Old Aunt," which 
gave forth a deep joy-sigh. From all the castle windows 
hung banners and flags bearing the arms of Pomerania and 
Saxony, and the pavement was strewed with flowers. 

As they passed Sidonia's window she opened it, and ap- 
peared magnificently attired, and glittering with pearls and 
diamonds, but also weeping bitterly. At this sight old 
Ulrich gnashed his teeth for rage, but all the young men, 
and Prince Ernest in particular, felt their hearts die in them 
for sorrow. So they passed on through the great north gate 
out on the castle wall, from whence the whole town and 
harbour were visible. Here the flags fluttered from the masts 
and waved from the towers, and the people clapped their 
hands and cried " Huzza I " (for in truth they had heard 
about the beer, to my thinking, before the Princess came out 
upon the walls). Summa : There was never seen such joy ; 
and after having service in church, they all returned to 
the castle in the same order, and set themselves down to the 
banquet. 

I got a list of the courses at the table of the Duchess from 
old Küssow, and I shall here set it down, that people may see 
how our fathers banqueted eighty years ago in Pomerania ; 
but, God help us ! in these imperial days there is little left 
for us to grind our teeth upon. So smell thereat, and you 
will still get a delicious savour from these good old times. 

First Course. — i. A soup; 2. An egg-soup, with saffron, 
peppercorns, and honey thereon ; 3. Stewed mutton, with 
onions strewed thereon ; 4. A roasted capon, with stewed plums. 

Second Course. — I. Ling, with oil and raisins; 2. Beef, 
baked in oil ; 3. Eels, with pepper ; 4. Dried fish, with 
Leipsic mustard 

Third Course. — i. A salad, with eggs ; 2. Jellies strewed 
with almond and onion seed ; 3. Omelettes, with honey and 
grapes ; 4. Pastry, and many other things besides. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 99 



Fourth Course. — I. A roast goose with red beet- root, 
olives, capers, and cucumbers ; 2. Little birds fried in lard, 
with radishes ; 3. Venison ; 4. Wild boar, with the marrow 
served on toasted rolls. In conclusion, all manner of pastry, 
with fritters, cakes, and fency confectionery of all kinds. 

So her Grace selected something from each dish herself, 
and despatched it to Sidonia by her maid ; but the maiden 
would none of them, and sent all back with a message that 
she had no heart to gormandise and feast; but her Grace 
might send her some bread and water, which was alone fitting 
for a poor prisoner to receive. 

The young men could bear this no longer, their patience 
was quite exhausted, and their courage rose as the wine-cups 
were emptied. So at length Prince Ernest whispered to his 
brother Bogislaus to put in a good word for Sidonia. He 
refused, however, and Prince Ernest was ashamed to name 
her himself ; but some of the young pages who waited on her 
Grace were bold enough to petition for her pardon, where- 
upon her Grace gave them a very sharp reproof. 

After dinner the Duchess and Prince Bogislaus went up 
the stream in a pleasure-boat to try the tame sea-gull, and her 
Grace requested Lord Ulrich to accompany them. But he 
answered that he was more necessary to the castle that evening 
than a night-watch in a time of war, particularly if the young 
Prince was to have Rostock beer play from the fountains in 
place of water. 

And soon his words came true, for when the Duchess had 
sailed away the young men began to drink in earnest, so that 
the wine ran over the threshold down the great steps, and the 
peasants and boors who were going back and forward with 
dried wood to the ducal kitchen, lay down flat on their faces, 
and licked up the wine from the steps (but the Almighty 
punished them for this, I think, for their children now are 
glad enough to sup up water with the geese). 

Meanwhile many of the youths sprang up, swearing that 



loo SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



they would free Sidonia ; others fell down quite drunk, and 
knew nothing more of what happened. Then old Ulrich flew 
to the corridor, and marched up and down with his drawn 
dagger in his hand, and swore he would arrest them all if 
they did not keep quiet ; that as to those who were lying dead 
drunk like beasts, he must treat them like other beasts — 
whereupon he sends to the castle fountain for buckets of cold 
water, and pours it over them. Ha! how they sprang up 
and raged when they felt it ; but he only laughed and said 
— if they would not hold their peace he would treat them 
still worse ; they ought to be ashamed of their filthiness and 
debauchery.* 

But now to the uproar within was added one from without^ 
for when the fountains began to play with Rostock beer, all 
the town ran thither, and drank like leeches, while they begged 
the serving-wenches to bring them loaves to eat with it. How 
the old shoemaker threw up his cap in the air, and shouted — 
** Long live her Grace ! no better Princess was in the whole 
world — they hoped her Grace might live for many years and 
celebrate every birthday like this ! " Then they would pray for 
her right heartily, and the women chattered and cackled, and 
the children screamed so that no one could hear a word that 
was saying, and Sidonia tried for a long time in vain to make 
them hear her. At last she waved a white kerchief from the 
window, when the noise ceased for a little, and she then began 
the old song, namely, " Would they release her ? " 

Now there were some brave fellows among them to whom 
she had given drink-money, or purchased goods from, and 
they now ran to fetch a ladder and set it up against the wall ; 
but old Ulrich got wind of this proceeding, and dispersed 
the mob forthwith, menacing Sidonia, before their faces, 
that if she but wagged a fmger, and did not instantly retire 

* Almost all writers of that age speak of the excesses to which 
intoxication was carried in all the ducal courts, but particularly tliat 
of Pomerania. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS loi 



from the window, and bear her well-merited punishment 
patiently, he would have her carried straightway through 
the guard-room, and locked up in the bastion tower. This 
threat succeeded, and she drew in her head. Meantime the 
Duchess returned from fishing, but when she beheld the 
crowd she entered through the little water-gate, and went up 
a winding stair to her own apartment, to attire herself for the 
dance. 

The musicians now arrived from Grypswald, and all the 
knights and nobles were assembled except Zitsewitz, who 
lay sick, whether from love or jealousy I leave undecided ; 
so the great affair at length began, and in the state hall the 
band struck up Duke Bogislaus' march, played, in fact, by 
eighty drums and forty- three trumpets, so that it was as 
mighty and powerful in sound as if the great trumpet itself 
had played it, and the plaster dropped off from the ceiling, and 
the picture of his Highness the Duke, in the north window, 
was so disturbed by the vibration, that it shook and clattered 
as if it were going to descend from the frame and dance 
with the guests in the hall, and not only the folk outside 
danced to the music, but down in the town, in the great 
market-place, and beyond that, even in the horse-market, 
the giant march was heard, and every one danced to it 
whether in or out of the house, and cheered and huzzaed. 
Now the Prince could no longer repress his feelings, for, 
besides that he had taken a good Pomeranian draught that 
day, and somewhat rebelled against his lady mother, he now 
flung the fourth commandment to the winds (never had he 
done this before), and taking three companions with him, 
by name Dieterich von Krassow, Joachim von Budde, and 
Achim von Weyer, he proceeded with them to the chamber 
of Sidonia, and with great violence burst open the door. 
There she lay on the bed weeping, in a green velvet robe, 
laced with gold, and embroidered with other golden orna- 
ments, and her head was crowned with pearls and diamonds, 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 103 

When he returns, the dance is over, and my gracious 
lady, suspecting nothing as yet, sits in a corner and fans 
herself. Then Ulrich takes Sidonia in one hand and Prince 
Ernest in the other, brings them up sti aight before her High- 
ness, and asks if she had herself given permission for the 
Prince and Sidonia to dance together in the hall. Her 
Highness started from her chair when she beheld them, her 
cheeks glowing with anger, and exclaimed, "What does 
this meän ? Have you dared to release Sidonia ? " 

IHe, — " Yes ; for this noble maiden has been treated worse 
than a peasant-girl by my lady mother." 

Ilia. — **0h, woe is me! this is my just punishment for 
having forgotten my Philip so soon, and even consenting to 
tread a measure in the hall." So she wept, and threw her- 
self again upon the seat, covering her face with both hands. 

Now old Ulrich began. " So, my young Prince, this is 
the way you keep the admonitions that your father, of blessed 
memory, gave you on his death-bed ! Fie — shame on you ! 
Did you not give youi* promise also to me, the old man before 
you ? Sidonia shall return to her chamber, if my word has 
yet some power in Pomerania. Speak, gracious lady, give 
the order, and Sidonia shall be carried back to her room." 

When Sidonia heard this, she laid her white hand, all 
covered with jewels, upon the old man's arm, and looked up 
at him with beseeching glances, and stroked his beard after 
her manner, crying, with tears of anguish, " Spare a poor 
young maiden ! I will learn anything you tell me ; I will 
repeat it all on Sunday. Only do not deal so hardly with 
me." But the little hands for once had no effect, nor the 
tears, nor the caresses ; for Ulrich, throwing her off, gave her 
such a slap in the fece that she uttered a loud cry and fell to 
the ground. 

If a firebrand had fallen into a barrel of gunpowder, it 
could not have caused a greater explosion in the hall than 
that cry ; for after a short pause, in which every one stood 



SIDONFA THE SORCERESS 



silent as if thunderstruck, there arose from all the nobles, 
young and old, the terrible war-cry — ** Jodute ! Jodute ! * 
to arms, to arms ! " and the cry was re-echoed till the whole 
hall rung with it. Whoever had a dagger or a sword drew 
it, and they who had none ran to fetch one. But the Prince 
would at once have struck old Ulrich to the heart, if his 
brother Bogislaus had not sprung on him from behind and 
pinioned his arms. Then Joachim von Budde made a pass 
at the old knight, and wounded him in the hand. So Ulrich 
changed his hat from the right hand to the left, and still kept 
retreating till he could gain the window and give the promised 
sign to the guard, crying as he fought his way backward, step 
by step, "Come on now — come on, Ernest. Murder the 
old grey-headed man whom thy father called friend — ^murder 
him, as thou wilt murder thy mother this night." 

Then reaching the window, he waved his hat until the sign 
was answered ; then sprang forward again, seized Sidonia by 
the hand, crying, " Out, harlot ! " Hereupon young Lord 
Ernest screamed still louder, "Jodute ! Jodute ! Down with 
the grey-headed villain ! What ! will not the nobles of 
Pomerania stand by their Prince? Down with the insolent 
grey-beard who has dared to call my princely bride a harlot ! 
And so he tore himself from his brother's grasp, and sprang 
upon the old man ; but her Grace no sooner perceived his 
intention than she rushed between them, crying, " Hold ! 
hold ! hold ! for the sake of God, hold ! He is thy second 
father." And as the young Prince recoiled in horror, she 
seized Sidonia rapidly, and pushing her before Ulrich towards 
the door, cried, " Out with the accursed harlot ! " But 

• The learned have puzzled their heads a great deal over the ety- 
mology of this enigmatical word, which is identical in meaning with the 
terrible '/Mtergeschrei" of the Reformation era. It is found in the 
Swedish, Gothic, and Low German dialects, and in the Italian Goduta, 
One of the test essays on the subject — which, however, leads to no 
result — the lover of antiquarian researches will find in Hakeus's " Pome- 
ranian Provincial Papers," vol. v. p. 207, 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 105 



Joachim Budde, who had already wounded the Grand Cham- 
berlain, now seizing a stick from one of the drummers, hit 
her Grace such a blow on the arm therewith that she had to 
let go her hold of Sidonia. When old Ulrich beheld this, 
he screamed, "Treason! treason!" and rushed upon Budde. 
But all the young nobles, who were now fiilly armed, sur- 
roimded the old man, crying, " Down with him ! down with 
him ! In vain he tried to reach a bench from whence 
he could defend himself against his assailants ; in a few 
moments he was overpowered by numbers and fell upon the 
floor. Now, indeed, it was all over with him, if the sol- 
datesca had not at that instant rushed into the hall with fierce 
shouts, and Master Hansen the executioner, in his long red 
cloak, with six assistants accompanying them. 

" Help ! help ! " cried her Grace ; " help for the Lord 
Chamberlain ! " 

So they sprang to the centre of the hall where he was 
lying, dashed aside his assailants, and lifted up the old man 
from the floor with his hand all bleeding. 

But Joachim Budde, who was seated on the very same 
bench which Ulrich had in vain tried to reach, began to 
mock the old knight. Whereupon Ulrich asked if it were 
he who had struck her Grace with the drumstick. Ay," 
quoth he, laughing, "and would that she had got more of 
it for treating that darling, sweet, beautiRil Sidonia no better 
than a kitchen wench. Where is the old hag now ? 1 
will teach her the catechism with my drumstick, I warrant 
you." 

And he was going to rise, when Ulrich made a sign to 
the executioner, who instantly dropped his red cloak, under 
which he had hitherto concealed his long sword, and just 
as Joachim looked up to see what was going on, he whirled 
the sword round like a flash of lightning, and cut Budde's 
head clean off from the shoulders, so that not even a quill of 
his Spanish ruff was disturbed, and the blood spouted up 



io6 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



like three horse-tails to the ceiling (for he drank so much 
that all the blood was in his head), and down tumbled his 
gay cap, with the heron's plume, to the ground, and his head 
along with it. 

In an instant all was quietness; for though some of the 
ladies fainted, amongst whom was her Grace, and others 
rushed out of the hall, still there was such a silence that 
when the corpse fell down at length heavily upon the ground 
the clap of the hands and feet upon the floor was quite 
audible. 

When Ulrich observed that his victory was complete, he 
waved his hat in the air, exclaiming, **The princely house 
of Pomerania is saved ! and, as long as I live, its honour 
shall never be tarnished for the sake of a harlot ! Remove 
Prince Ernest and Sidonia to separate prisons. Let the rest 
go their ways ; — this devil's festival is at an end, and with 
my consent, there shall never be another in Wolgast." 



CHAPTER Xni. 

How Sidonia is sent anvay to Stettin — Item^ of the young lord* s 
dangerous illnettf and what happened in consequence. 

Now the Grand Chamberlain was well aware that no good 
would result from having Sidonia brought to a public trial, 
because the whole court was on her side. 

Therefore he called Marcus Bork, her cousin, to him in 
the night, and bid him take her and her luggage away next 
morning before break of day, and never stop or stay until 
they reached Duke Barnim's court at Stettin. The wind 
was half-way round now, and before nightfall they might 
reach Oderkruge. He would first just write a few lines 
to his Highness; and when Marcus had made all needful 
preparation, let him come here to his private apartment and 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



receive the letter. He had selected him for the business 
because he was Sidonia's cousin, and also because he was 
the only young man at the castle whom the wanton had not 
ensnared in her toils. 

But that night Ulrich had reason to know that Sidonia 
and her lovers were dangerous enemies ; for just as he had 
returned to his little room, and seated himself down at the 
table, to write to his Grace of Stettin the whole business 
concerning Sidonia, the window was smashed, and a large 
stone came plump down upon the ink-bottle close beside 
him, and stained all the paper. As Ulrich went out to call 
the guard, Appelmann, the equerry, came running up to him, 
complaining that his lordship's beautiful horse was lying 
there in the stable groaning like a human creature, for that 
some wretches had cut its tail clean off. 

lUe, — " Were any of the grooms in the stable lately ? or 
had he seen any one go by the window ? " 

Hie. — " No ; it was impossible to see any one, on account 
of the darkness ; but he thought he had heard some one 
creeping along by the wall." 

Ille. — " Let him come then, fetch a lantern, and summon 
all the grooms ; he would give it to the knaves. Had he 
heard anything of her Highness recently ? " 

Hlc, — " A maid told him that her Grace was better, and 
had retired to rest." 

Ille. — « Thank God. Now they might go." 

But as they proceeded along the corridor, which was now 
almost quite dark, the old knight suddenly received such a 
blow upon his hat that the beautiful aigrette was broken, 
and he himself thrown against the wall with such violence 
that he lay a quarter of an hour insensible; then he shook 
his grey head. What could that mean ? Had Appelmann 
seen any one ? 

Hlc, — Ah ! no ; but he thought he heard steps, as if of 
some one running away." 



io8 SIDONIA THE SORCERP:SS 

So they went on to the ducal stfiblcs, but nothing was to 
be seen or heard. The grooms knew nothing about the 
matter — the guard knew nothing. Then the old knight 
lamented over his beautiful horse, and told Appelmann to 
ride next morning, with Marcus Bork and Sidonia, to the 
Duke's castle at Stettin, and purchase the piebald mare for 
him from his Grace, about which they had been bargaining 
some time back ; but he must keep all this secret, for the 
young nobles were to know nothing of the journey. 

Ah, what fine fun this is for the cunning rogue. " If his 
lordship would only give him the purse, he would bring him 
back a far finer horse than that which some knaves had in- 
jured." Whereupon the old knight went down to reckon 
out the rose-nobles — but, lo ! a stone comes whizzing past 
him close to his head, so that if it had touched him, me- 
thinks the old man would never have spoken a word more. 
In short, wherever he goes, or stops, or stands, stones and 
buffets are rained down upon him, so that he has to call the 
guard to accompany him back to his chamber ; but he lays 
the saddle on the right horse at last, as you shall hear in 
another place. 

After some hours everything became quiet in the castle, 
for the knaves were glad enough to sleep off their drunken- 
ness. And so, early in the morning before dawn, while 
they were all snoring in their beds, Sidonia was carried off, 
scream as she would along the corridor, and even before the 
young knight's chamber ; not a soul heard her. For she had 
not been brought to the prison tower, as at first commanded, 
but to her own little chamber, likewise the young lord to his ; 
for the Grand Chamberlain thought afterwards this proceeding 
would not cause such scandal. 

But there truly was great grief in the castle when they all 
rose, and the cry was heard that Sidonia was gone ; and 
some of the murderous lords threatened to make the old man 
pay with his blood for it. //rm, no sooner was it day than 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



Dr. Gerschovius ran in, crying that some of the young pro- 
fligates had broken all his windows the night before, and 
turned a goat into the rectory, with the catechism of his 
dear and learned brother tied round his neck. 

Then old Ulrich's anger increased mightily, as might be 
imagined, and he brought the priest with him to the Duchess, 
who had got but little rest that night, and was busily turning 
her wheel with the little clock-work, and singing to it, in a 
loud, clear voice, that beautiful psalm (i2oth) — "In deep 
distress I oft have cried.** She paused when they entered, 
and began to weep. "Was it not all prophesied? Why 
had she been persuaded to throw off her mourning, and slight 
the memory of her loved Philip ? It was for this the wrath 
of God had come upon her house; for assuredly the Lord 
would avenge the innocent blood that had been shed." 

Then Ulrich answered that, as her Grace knew, he had 
earnestly opposed this festival ; but as to what regarded the 
traitor whose head he had chopped off, he was ready to 
answer for that blood, not only to man but before God. 
For had not the coward struck his own sovereign lady 
the Princess with the drumstick ? //«h, was he not in the 
act of rising to repeat the blow, as the whole nobility are 
aware, only he lost his head by the way ; and if this had 
not been done, all order and government must have ceased 
throughout the land, and the mice and the rats rule the cats, 
which was against the order of nature and contrary to God's 
will. But his gracious lady might take consolation, for 
Sidonia had been carried from the castle that morning by 
four of the clock, and, by God's grace, never should set 
foot in it again. But there was another gravamaiy and that 
concerned the young nobles, who, no doubt, would become 
more daring after the events of last evening. Then he re- 
lated what had happened to the priest, "//rm, what did 
my gracious lady mean to do with those drunken libertines ? 
If her Grace had kept up the huntings and the fishings, as 



1 lO 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



in the daya of good Duke Philip, mayhap the young men 
would have been less given to debauchery ; but her Grace 
kept an idle house, and they had nothing to do but drink 
and brew mischief. If her Grace had no fitting employ- 
ment for these young fellows, then he would pack them 
all off to the devil the very next morning, for they brought 
nothing but disrespect upon the princely house of Wol- 
gast." 

So her Grace rejoiced over Sidonia's departure, but could 
not consent to send away the young knights. Her beloved 
husband and lord, Philippus Primus, always kept a retinue of 
such young nobles, and all the princely courts did the same. 
What would her cousin of Brandenburg and Mecklenburg say, 
when they heard that she had no longer knights or pages at 
her court ? She feared her princely name would be men- 
tioned with disrespect. 

So Ulrich replied, that at all events, this set of young 
boisterers must be sent off, as they had grown too wild and 
licentious to be endured any longer ; and that he would select 
a new retinue for her Grace from the discreetest and most 
sober-minded young knights of the court. Marcus Bork, 
however, might remain ; he was true, loyal, and brave — not 
a wine-bibber and profligate like the others. 

So her Grace at last consented, seeing that no good would 
come of these young men now ; on the contrary, they would 
be more daring and riotous than ever from rage, when they 
found that Sidonia had been sent away ; and that business of 
the window-smashing and the goat demanded severe punish- 
ment. So let Ulrich look out for a new household ; these 
gay libertines would be sent away. 

While she was speaking, the door opened, and Prince 
Ernest entered the chamber, looking so pale and haggard, 
that her Grace clasped her hands together, and asked him, 
with terror, what had happened. 

UU. — " Did she ask what had happened, when all Pome- 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



III 



rania rung with it ? — when nobles were beheaded before her 
fiicc as if they were nothing more than beggars' brats? — 
when the delicate and high-bom Lady Sidonia, who had 
been entrusted to her care by Duke Barnim himself> was 
turned out of the castle in the middle of the night as if she 
were a street-girl, because, forsooth, she would not learn her 
catechism? The world would scarcely credit such scan- 
dalous acts, and yet they were all true. But to-morrow (if 
this weakness which had come over him allowed of it) he 
would set off for Stettin, also to Berlin and Schwerin, and 
tell the princes there, his cousins, what government they held 
in Wolgast. He would soon be twenty, and would then take 
matters into his own hands ; and he would pray his guardian 
and dear uncle, Duke Barnim, to pronounce him at once of 
age ; then the devil might take Ulrich and his government, 
but he would rule the castle his own way.** 

Her Grace. — " But what did he complain of? What ailed 
him ? She must know this first, for he was looking as pale as 
a corpse." 

lUe. — Did she not know, then, what ailed him ? Well, 
since he must tell her, it was anger — anger that made him so 
pale and weak." 

Her Grace. — ** Anger, was it ? Anger, because the false 
wanton, Sidonia, had been removed by her orders from her 
princely castle ? Ah ! she knew now what the wanton had 
come there for ; but would he kill his mother ? She nearly 
sank upon the ground last night when he called the impu- 
dent wench his bride. But she forgave him ; it must have 
been the wine he drank made him so forget himself ; or was it 
possible that he spoke in earnest ? " 

nie (sighing).—" The future will tell that." 

" Oh, woe is me ! what must I live to hear ? If thy 
father could look up from his grave, and see thee disgracing 
thy princely blood by a marriage with a bower maiden ! — 
thou traitorous, disobedient son, do not lie to me. I know 



112 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

from thy sighs what thy purpose is — for this thou art going 
to Stettin and Berlin." 

The Prince is silent, and looks down upon the ground. 

Her Grace. — " Oh, shame on thee ! shame on thee for the 
sake of thy mother ! shame on thee for the sake of this ser- 
vant of God, thy second father, this old man here ! What ! 
a vile knave strike thy mother, before the face of all the 
court, and thou condemnest him because he avenged her ! 
Truly thou art a fine, brave son, to let thy mother be struck 
before thy face, for the sake of a harlot. Canst thou deny 
it ? I conjure thee by the living God, tell me is it thy true 
purpose to take this harlot to thy wife ? " 

Ilk, — " He could give but one answer ; the future would 
decide." 

Her Grace (weeping). — " Oh, she was reserved for all 
misfortunes ! Why did Doctor Martinus let her ring fall ? 
All, all has followed from that ! If he had chosen a good, 
humble, honest girl, she would say nothing ; but this wanton, 
this light maiden, that ran after every carl and let them 
court her ! " 

Here the young Prince was seized with such violent con- 
vulsions that he fell upon the floor, and her Grace raised him 
up with loud lamentations. He was carried in a dead faint 
to his chamber, and the court physician. Doctor Pomius, 
instantly summoned. Doctor Pomius was a pompous little 
man (for my father knew him well), dry and smart in his 
words, and with a face like a pair of nutcrackers, for his 
front teeth were gone, so that his lips seemed dried on his 
gums, like the skin of a mummy. He was withal too self- 
conceited and boastful, and malicious, full of gossip and ill- 
nature, and running down every one that did not believe 
that he (Doctor Pomius) was the only learned physician in 
the world. Following the celebrated rules laid down by 
Theophrastus Paracelsus, he cured everything with trash — 
and asses' dung was his infallible panacea for all complaints. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



113 



This pharmacopoeia was certainly extremely simple, easily 
obtained, and universal in its application. If the dung suc- 
ceeded, the doctor drew himself up, tossed his head, and 
exclaimed, "What Doctor Pomius orders always succeeds." 
But if the wretched patient slipped out of hi^ hands into the 
other world, he shook his head and said, " There is an hour 
for every man to die ; of course his had come — physicians 
cannot work miracles." 

Pomius hated every other doctor in the town, and abused 
them so for their ignorance and stupidity, that finally her 
Grace believed that no one in the world knew anything but 
Doctor Pomius, and that a vast amount of profound know- 
ledge was expressed, if he only put his finger to the end of 
his nose, as was his habit. 

So, as I have said, she summoned him to attend the 
young lord ; and after feeling his pulse and asking some 
questions respecting his general health, the doctor laid his 
finger, as usual, to his nose, and pronounced solemnly — 
" The young Prince must inmiediately take a dose of asses' 
dung stewed in wine, with a little of the laudanum paraceln 
poured in afterwards — this will restore him certainly." 

But it was all in vain ; for the young Prince still continued 
day and night calling for Sidonia, and neither the Duchess 
nor Doctor Gerschovius could in any wise comfort him. 
This afflicted her Grace almost to the death ; and by 
Ulrich's advice, she despatched her second son, Duke Barnim 
the younger, and Dagobert von Schwerin, to the court 
of Brunswick, to solicit in her name the hand of the young 
Princess Sophia Hedwig, for her son Ernest Ludovicus. 
Now, in the whole kingdom, there was no more beautiftj 
princess than Sophia of Brunswick ; and her Grace was filled 
with hope that, by her means, the influence of the detestable 
Sidonia over the heart of the young lord would be destroyed 
for ever. 

In due time the ambassadors returned, with the most 

VOL. I. H 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



favourable answer. Father, mother, and daughter all gave 
consent ; and the Duke of Brunswick also forwarded by their 
hands an exquisite miniature of his beautiful daughter for 
Prince Krnest. 

This miniature her Grace now hung up beside his bed. 
Would he not look at the beautiful bride she had selected 
for him ? Could there be a more lovely face in all the German 
empire ? What was Sidonia beside her, but a rude country 
girl ! — would he not give her up at last, this light wench ? 
While, on the contrary, this illustrious princess was as 
virtuous as she was beautiful, and this the whole court of 
Brunswick could testify. 

But the young lord would give no heed to her Grace, and 
spat out at the picture, and cried to take away the daub — into 
the fire with it — anywhere out of his sight. Unless his dear, 
his beautiful Sidonia came to tend him, he would die — he felt 
that he was dying. 

So her Grace took counsel with old Ulrich, and Doctor 
Pomius, and the priest, what could be done now. The doctor 
mentioned that he must have been witch-struck. Then more 
doctors were sent for from the Grypswald, but all was in vain 
— no one knew what ailed him ; and from day to day he grew 
worse. 

Clara von Dewitz now bitterly reproached herself for 
having concealed her suspicions about the love-drink from her 
Grace — though indeed she did so by desire of her betrothed, 
Marcus Bork. But now, seeing that the young Prince lay 
absolutely at the point of death, she could no longer hold her 
peace, but throwing herself on her knees before her Grace, 
told her the whole story of the witch-girl whom she had 
sheltered in the castle, and of her fears that Sidonia had learned 
from her how to brew a love-philtre, which she had afterwards 
given to the Prince. 

Her Grace was sore displeased with Clara for having kept 
all this a secret, and said that she would have expected more 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS iij 



wisdom and discretion from her^ seeing that she had always 
counted her the most worthy amongst her maidens ; then she 
summoned Uhich, and laid the evil matter before him. He 
shook his head ; believed that they had hit on the true cause 
now. Such a sickness had nothing natural about it — there 
must be magic and witchwork in it ; but he would have the 
whole land searched for the girl, and make her give the young 
lord some potion that would take off the spell. 

Now the witch- girl had been pardoned a few days before 
that, and sent back to Usdom, near Daber ; but bailiffs were 
now sent in all directions to arrest her, and bring her again to 
Wolgast without delay. 

So the wretched creature was discovered, before long, in 
Kruge, near Mahlzow, where she had hired herself as a 
spinner for the winter, and brought before Ulrich and her 
Grace. She was there admonished to tell the whole truth, 
but persisted in asseverating that Sidonia had never learned 
from her how to make a love-drink. Her statement, however, 
was not believed ; and Master Hansen was summoned, to try 
and make her speak more. The a£^, indeed, appeared so 
serious to Ulrich, that he himself stood by while she was 
undergoing the torture, and carried on the protocollum^ calling 
out to Master Hansen occasionally not to spare his squeezes. 
But though the blood burst from her finger-ends, and her hip 
was put out of joint, so that she limped ever after, she confessed 
nothing more, nor did she alter the statement which she had 
first made. 

Iteniy her Grace, and the priest, and all the bystanders 
exhorted her in vain to confess the truth (for her Grace was 
present at the torture). At last she cried out, ** Yes, I know 
something that will cure him ! Mercy ! mercy ! and I will 
teU it." 

So they unbound her, and she was going straightway to 
make her witch-potion, but old Ulrich changed his mind. 
Who coold know whether this devil's fiend was telling them 



ii6 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



the truth ? May be she would kill the young lord I'n place of 
curing him. So they gave her another stretch upon the rack. 
But as she still held by all her assertions, they spared her any 
further torture. 

But, in my opinion, the young lord must have obtained 
something from her, otherwise he could not have recovered all 
at once the moment that Sidonia was brought back, as I shall 
afterwards relate. 

Sum total, — The young Prince screamed day and night for 
Sidonia, and told her Grace that he now felt he was dying, and 
requested, as his last prayer upon this earth, to be allowed to 
see her once more. The maiden was an angel of goodness ; 
and if she could but close his dying eyes, he would die 
happy. 

It can be easily imagined with what humour her Grace 
listened to such a request, for she hated Sidonia like Satan 
himself ; but as nothing else could satisfy him, she promised 
to send for her, if Prince Ernest would solemnly swear, by 
the corpse of his father, that he would never wed her, but 
select some princess for his bride, as befitted his exalted rank 
— ^the Princess Hedwig, or some other — as soon as he had 
recovered sufficiently to be able to quit his bed« So he 
quickly stretched forth his thin, white hand from the bed, and 
promised his dearly beloved mother to do all she had asked, 
if she would only send horsemen instantly to Stettin, for the 
journey by water was insecure, and might be tedious if the 
wind were not favourable. 

Hereupon a great murmur arose in the castle ; and young 
Duke Bogislaus fell into such a rage that he took his way 
back again to Camyn, and his younger brother, Barnim, 
accompanied him. But the anger of the Grand Chamberlain 
no words can express. He told her Grace, in good round 
terms, that she would be the mock of the whole land. The 
messengers had only just returned who had carried away 
Sidonia from the castle under the greatest disgrace ; and now, 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS iij 



forsooth, they must ride back again to bring her back with 
all honour. 

** Oh, it was all true, quite true ; but then, if her dcjirest 
son Ernest were to die '* 

//Är. — Let him die. Better lose his life than his honour.** 

ff£c. — He would not peril his honour, for he had sworn 
by the corpse of his fether never to wed Sidonia.** 

/Är. — " Ay, he was quick enough in promising, but per- 
forming was a different thing. Did her Grace think tliat the 
passion of a man could be controlled by promises, as a tame 
horse by a bridle ? Never, never. Passion was a wild 
horse, that no bit, or bridle, or curb could guide, and would 
assuredly carry his rider to the devil** 

fftr Grace, — " Still she could not give up her son to death ; 
besides, he would repent and see his folly. Did not God*8 
Word tell us how the prodigal son returned to his father, and 
would not her son return likewise ? '* 

Il/e. — " Ay, when he has kept swine. After that he may 
return, but not till then. The youngster was as great a fool 
about women as he had ever come across in his life.** 

ffer Grace (weeping). — " He was too harsh on the young 
man. Had she not sent away the girl at his command ; and 
now he would let her own child die before her eyes, without 
hope or consolation ? " 

Illc, — " But if her child is indeed dying, would she send 
for the devil to attend him in his last moments ? Her Grace 
should be more consistent. If the young lord is dying, let 
him die ; her Grace has other children, and God will know 
how to comfort her. Had he not been afflicted himself? and 
let her ask Dr. Gerschovius if the Lord had not spoken peace 
unto him." 

If er Grace, — "Ah, true; but then neither of them are 
mothers. Her son is asking every moment if the messengers 
have departed, and what shall she answer him ? She cannot 
lie, but must tell the whole bitter truth.'* 



ii8 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



Itte. — "He saw the time had come at last for him to 
follow the young princes. He was of no use here any longer. 
Her Grace must give him permission to take his leave, for he 
would sail off that very day for his castle at Spantekow, and 
then she might do as she pleased respecting the young lord." 

So her Grace besought him not to leave her in her sore 
trouble and perplexity. Her two sons had sailed away, and 
there was no one left to advise and comfort her. 

But Ulrich was inflexible. " She must either allow her 
son quietly to leave this miserable life, or allow him to leave 
this miserable court service." 

" Then let him go to Spantekow. Her son should be saved. 
She would answer before the throne of the Almighty for what 
she did. But would he not promise to return, if she stood in 
any great need or danger ? for she felt that both were before 
her ; still she must peril everything to save her child." 

Ille. — " Yes, he would be ready on her slightest summons ; 
and he doubted not but that Sidonia would soon give her 
trouble and sorrow enough. But he could not remain now, 
without breaking his knightly oath to Duke Philip, his de- 
ceased feudal seigneur of blessed memory, and standing before 
the court and the world as a fool." 

So after many tears her Grace gave him his dismissal, and 
he rode that same day to Spantekow, promising to return if 
she were in need, and also to send her a new retinue and 
household immediately. 

This last arrangement displeased Marcus Bork mightily, for 
he had many friends amongst the knights who were now to 
be dismissed, and so he, too, prayed her Grace for leave to 
resign his office and retire from court. He had long looked 
upon Clara von Dewitz with a holy Christian love, and, if 
her Grace permitted, he would now take her home as his dear 
loving wife. 

Her Grace replied that she had long suspected this betrothal 
— particularly from the time that Clara told her of his advice 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 119 

respecting the concealment of the witch-girl's visit to Sidonia ; 
and as he had acted wrongly in that business, he must now 
make amends by not deserting her in her greatest need. Her 
sons and old Ulrich had already left her; some one must 
remain in whom she could place confidence. It would be 
time enough afterwards to bring home his beloved wife Clara, 
and she would wish them Gkxl's blessing on their union. 

//Sr. — " True, he had been wrong in concealing that busi- 
ness with the witch-girl, but her Grace must pardon him. 
He never thought it would bring the young lord to his dying 
bed. Whatever her Grace now commanded he would yield 
obedience to.'* 

" Then,** said her Grace, " do you and Appelmann mount 
your horses instantly, ride to Stettin, and bring back Sidonia. 
For her dearly beloved son had sworn that he could not die 
easy unless he beheld Sidonia once more, and that she attended 
him in his last moments.** 

It may be easily imagined how the good knight endeavoured 
to dissuade her Highness from this course, and even spoke 
to the young Prince himself, but in vain. That same day he 
and Appelmann were obliged to set off for Stettin, and on their 
arrival presented the following letter to old Duke Barnim : — 

" Maria, by the grace of God. born Duchess of Saxony, &c. 

** Illustrious Prince and my dear Uncle,— It has not been 
concealed from your Highness how our dear son Ernest Ludovicus, 
since the departure of Sidonia, has fallen, by the permission of God. 
into such a state of bodily weakness that his life even stands in 
jeopardy. 

** He has declared that nothing "will restore him but to see Sidonia 
once more. We therefore entreat your Highness, after admoni^ing 
the aforesaid maiden se\-erely upon her former light and unseemly 
behaviour, to dismiss her \%nth our messengers, that they may return 
and give peace and health to our dearly belo\'ed son. 

** If your Highness would enjoy a hunt or a fishing with a tame 
sea-gull, it would gi\-e us inexpressible pleasure. 

" We commend you lovingly to God's holy keeping. 

*' Given from our Castle of Wolgast, this Friday, April 15, 1569. 

Maria." 



120 SIDONIA THE SOllCERESS 



CHAPTER XIV. 

Hov) Duke Barnim of Stettin and Otto Bork accompany 
Sidonia hack to Wolgcut, 

When hb Highness of Stettin had finished the perusal of her 
Grace's letter^ he laughed loudly, and exclaimed — 

This comes of all their piety and preachings. I knew 
well what this extravagant holiness would make of my dear 
cousin and old Ulrich. If people would persist in being so 
wonderfully religious, they would soon become as sour as an 
old cabbage head ; and Sidonia declared, that, for her part, 
a hundred horses should not drag her back to Wolgast, 
where she had been lectured and insulted, and all because 
she would not learn her catechism like a little school- 
girl." 

Nor would Otto Bork hear of her returning. (He was 
waiting at Stettin to conduct her back to Stramehl.) At 
last, however, he promised to consent, on condition that his 
Highness would grant him the dues on the Jena. 

Now the Duke knew right well that Otto wanted to 
revenge himself upon the people of Stargard, with whom he 
was at enmity ; but he pretended not to observe the cunning 
knight's motives, and merely replied — 

" They must talk of the matter at Wolgast, for nothing 
could be decided upon without having the opinion of his 
cousin the Duchess." 

So the knight taking this as a half-promise, and Sidonia 
having at last consented, they all set off on Friday with a 
good south wind in their favour, and by tbat same evening 
were landed by the little water-gate at Wolgast. His 
Highness was received with distinguished honours — ^the ten 
knights of her Grace's new household being in waiting to 
receive him as he stepped on shore. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 121 



So they proceeded to the Castle» the Duke having Sidooia 
upon one arm, and a Cain under the other» which he had 
been carving during the passage^ for the Eve had long tince 
been finished. Otto followed ; and all the people, when they 
beheld Sidonia» uttered loud cries of joy that the dear young 
lady had come back to them. 

This increased her arrogance, so that when her Grace 
received her» and began a godly admonishment upon her past 
levities, and conjured her to lead a modest, devout life for the 
future, Sidonia replied indiscreetly — "She knew not what 
her Grace and her parson meant by a modest, devout life, 
except it were learning the catechism of Dr. Gerschovius ; 
from such modesty and devoutness she begged to be excused, 
she was no little school-girl now — she thought her Grace 
had got rid of all her whims and caprices, by sending for her 
after having turned her out of the castle without any cause 
whatever — but it was all the old thing over again." 

Her Grace coloured up with anger at this bitter speech, 
but held her peace. Then Otto addressed her, and begged 
leave to ask her Grace what kind of order was held at her 
court, where a priest was allowed to slap the fingers of a 
noble young maiden, and a chamberlain to smite her on the 
foce? Had he known that such were the usages at her 
court of Wolgast, the Lady Sidonia (such he delighted to 
call her, as though she were of princely race) never should 
have entered it, and he would now instantly take her back to 
Stramehl, if her Grace would not consent to give him up the 
dues on the Jena. 

Now her Grace knew nothing about the dues, and thei^ 
fore said, turning to the Duke — "Dear uncle, what does 
this arrogant knave mean ? I do not comprehend his insolent 
speech." Hereupon Otto chafed with rage, that her Grace 
had named him with such contempt, and cried — " Then was 
your husband a knave, too ! for my blood is as noble and 
nobler than your own, and I am lord of castles and lands. 



122 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

Come, my daughter ; let us leave the robbers* den, or mayhap 
thy father will be struck even as th(ju wert." 

Now her Grace knew not what to do, and she lamented 
loudly — more particularly because at this moment a message 
arrived from Prince Ernest, praying her for God's sake to 
bring Sidonia to him, as he understood that she had been in 
the castle now a full quarter of an hour. Then old Otto 
laughed loudly, took his daughter by the hand, and cried 
again, "Come — ^let us leave this robber hole. Come, 
Sidonia!" 

This plunged her Grace into despair, and she exclaimed 
in anguish, " Will you not have pity on my dying child ? " 
but Otto continued, " Come, Sidonia ! come, Sidonia I " and 
he drew her by the hand. 

Here Duke Barnim rose up and said, " Sir Knight, be not 
so obstinate. Remember it is a sorrowing mother who en- 
treats you. Is it not true, Sidonia, you will remain here ? " 

Then the cunning hypocrite lifted her kerchief to her eyes, 
and replied, " If I did not know the catechism of Doctor 
Gerschovius, yet I know God's Word, and how the Saviour 
said, ' I was sick and ye visited Me,' and James also says, 
*The prayer of faith shall save the sick.' No, I will not 
let this poor young lord die, if my visit and my prayer can 
help him." 

" No, no," exclaimed Otto, " thou shalt not remain, unless 
the dues of the Jena be given up to me." And as at this 
moment another page arrived from Prince Ernest, with a 
similar urgent request for Sidonia to come to him, her Grace 
replied quickly, " I promise all that you desire," without 
knowing what she was granting ; so the knight said he was 
content, and let go his daughter's hand. 

Now the good town of Stargard would have been ruined 
for ever by this revengeful man, if his treacherous designs 
had not been defeated (as we shall see presently) by his own 
terrible death. He had long felt a bitter hatred to the people 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 123 



of Stargard, because at one time they had leagued with the 
Greifenbergers and the Duke of Pomerania to ravage his 
town of Stramehl, in order to avenge an insult he had offered 
to the old burgomaster, Jacob Appelmann, father of the chief 
equerry, Johann Appelmann. In return for this outrage. 
Otto determined, if possible, to get the control of the dues of 
the Jena into his own hands, and when the Stargardians 
brought their goods and provisions up the Jena, and from 
thence prepared to enter the river Ha£P, he would force them 
to pay such exorbitant duty upon everything, that the 
merchants and the people, in short, the whole town, would be 
ruined, for their whole subsistence and merchandise came by 
these two rivers, and all this was merely to gratify his re- 
venge. But the just God graciously turned away the evil from 
the good town, and let it fall upon Otto's own head, as we 
shall relate in its proper place. 

So, when the old knight had let go his daughter's hand, 
her Grace seized it, and went instantly with Sidonia to the 
chamber of the young lord, all the others following. And here 
a moving scene was witnessed, for as they entered. Prince 
Ernest extended his thin, pale hands towards Sidonia, ex- 
claiming, Sidonia, ah, dearest Sidonia, have you come at 
last to nursetend me ? " then he took her little hand, kissed 
it, and bedewed it with his tears, still repeating, " Sidonia, 
dearest Sidonia, have you come to nursetend me ? " 

So the artful hypocrite began to weep, and said — "Yes, 
my gracious Prince, I have come to you, although your 
priest struck me on the fingers, and your mother and old 
Ulrich called me a harlot, before all the court, and lastly, 
turned me out of the castle by night, as if I had been a 
swine-herd ; but I have not the heart to let your Highness 
suffer, if my poor prayers and help can abate your sickness ; 
therefore let them strike me, and call me a harlot again, if 
they wish." 

This so melted the heart of my gracious Prince Ernest, 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



that he cried out, Sidonia, angel of goodness, give mc 
one kiss, but one little kiss upon my mouth, Sidonia ! bend 
down to me — but one, one kiss ! " Her Grace was dread- 
fully scandalised at such a speech, and said he ought to be 
ashamed of such words. Did he not remember what he had 
sworn by the corpse of his father at St. Peter's ? But old 
Duke Barnim cried out, laughing — ^^Give him a kiss, 
Sidonia ; that is the best plaster for his wounds ; * a kiss in 
honour brings no dishonour,' says the proverb.'' 

However, Sidonia still hesitated, and bending down to the 
young man, said, ** Wait, gracious Prince, until we are alone." 

If the Duchess had been angry before, what was it to her 
rage now — " Alone ! she would take good care they were 
never to be alone ! " 

Otto took no notice of this speech, probably because he 
saw that matters were progressing much to his liking between 
the Prince and his daughter ; but Duke Barnim exclaimed, 
"How now, dearest cousin, are you going to spoil all by 
your prudery ? You brought the girl here to cure him, and 
what other answer could she give ? Bend thee down, Sidonia, 
and give him one little kiss upon the lips — I, the Prince, com- 
mand thee ; and see, thou needst not be ashamed, for I will set 
thee an example with his mother. Come, dear cousin, put off 
that sour face, and give me a good, hearty kiss ; your son will 
get well the sooner for it :" but as he attempted to seize hold of 
her Grace, she cried out, and lifted up her hands to Heaven, 
lamenting in a loud voice — " Oh, evil and wicked world ! may 
God release me from this wicked world, and lay me down 
this day beside my Philip in the grave ! " Then weeping 
and wringing her hands, she left the chamber, while the old 
knight, and — God forgive him !— even Duke Barnim, looked 
after her, laughing. 

" Come, Otto," said his Grace, " leMis go too, and leave 
this pair alone ; I must try and pacify my dear cousin." So 
they left the room, and on the way Otto opened his mind to 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



the Duke about this love matter, and asked his Grace, would 
he consent to the union, if Prince Ernest, on his recovery, 
made honourable proposals for his daughter Sidonia. 

But his Grace was right crafty, and merely answered — 
" Time enough to settle that. Otto, when he is recovered ; but 
methinks you will have some trouble with his mother unless 
you are more civil to her ; so if you desire her favour, bear 
yourself more humbly, I advise you, as befits a subject." 

This the knight promised, and the conversation ceased, as 
they came up with the Duchess just then, who was waiting 
for them in the grand corridor. No sooner did she perceive 
that Sidonia was not with them than she cried out, "So 
my son is alone with the maiden ! " and instantly despatched 
three pages to watch them both. 

Otto had now changed his tone, and instead of retorting, 
thanked her Grace for the praiseworthy and Christian care 
she took of his daughter. He did not believe this at first, 
but now he saw it with his own eyes. Alas, it was too 
true, the world was daily growing worse and worse, and the 
devil haunted us with his temptations, like our own flesh and 
blood. Then he sighed and kissed her hand, and prayed 
her Grace to pardon him his former bold language — but, in 
truth, he had felt displeased at first to see her Grace so harsh 
to Sidonia, when every one else at the castle recdved her 
with rapture; but he saw now that she only meant kindly 
and motherly by the girl. 

Then the Duke asked her pardon for his little jest about 
the kissing. She knew well that he meant no harm ; and 
also that it was not in his nature to endure any melancholy or 
lamentable faces around him. 

So her Grace was recönciled to both, and when the Duke 
announced that he and the knight proposed visiting Barth* 
and Eldena, from whence they would return in a few days, 

* Barth, a little town; and Eldena was at that time a richly 
endowed convent near Greifswald. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



plied the Duke. No one uses them but the pages and 
knights of the household, who may select any for riding that 
pleases them ; but her Highness would never diminish any of 
the state maintained by her deceased lord, Duke Philip. So 
there has been always, since that time, particular attention 
paid to the ducal stables at Wolgast," 

Now the train began to move towards the hunt, in all about 
a hundred persons, and in front rode her Grace upon an 
ambling palfrey, dressed in a riding-habit of green velvet, and 
wearing a yellow hat with plumes. Her little Casimir rode 
by her side on a Swedish pony ; then followed her ladies-in- 
waiting, amongst whom rode Sidonia, all likewise dressed in 
green velvet hunting-dresses, ^stened with golden clasps ; but 
in place of yellow, they wore scarlet hats, with gilded herons' 
plumes. Duke Barnim and Prince Ernest rode along with 
her Grace ; and though none but those of princely blood were 
allowed to join this group, yet Otto strove to keep near them, 
as if he really belonged to the party, just as Uie sacristan 
strives to make the people think he is as good as the priest by 
keeping as close as he can to him while the procession moves 
along the streets. 

After these came the marshal, the castellan, and then the 
treasurer, with the office-bearers, knights, and esquires of 
the household. Then the chief equerry, with the master of 
the hounds and the principal huntsmen. But the beaters, 
pages, lacqueys, drunmiers, coursers, and runners had already 
gone on before a good way ; and never had the Wolgastians 
beheld such a stately hunt as this since the death of good 
Duke Philip. So the whole town ran together, and followed 
the procession for a good space, up to the spot where blue 
tents were erected for her Grace and her ladies. The ground 
all round was strewed with flowers and evergreens, and before 
the tents palisades were erected, on which lay loaded rifles, 
ready to discharge at any of the game that came that way ; 
and for two miles round the master of the hunt had laid 

vou I. I 



ijo 8ID0NIA THE SORCERESS 

down nctBf which were all connected together at a point close 
to the princely tent. 

When the In'aterM and their dogM h^ul niarU'A the animaU, 
he left the tent to reconnoitre, and if the itport promiifed to 
be plentiful, he ordered the drunu to beat, in order to give 
her Highness notice. Then she took a rifle herself, and 
brought down several head, which was easily accomplished, 
when they passed upon each other as thick as sheep. 8idoni;i, 
who had often attended the hunts at Stramehl, was a most 
expert shot, and brought down ten roes and stags, whereon 
she had much jesting with the young lords, who had not been 
half so successful. And let no one imagine that there was 
danger to her Highness and her ladies in thus firing at the 
wild droves from her tent, for it was erected upon a scaffolding 
raised five feet from the ground, and surrounded by palisades, 
so that it was impossible the animals could ever reach it. 

On that day, there were killed altogether one hundred and 
fifty stags, one hundred roes, five hundred hares, three 
hundred foxes, one hundred wild boars, seven wolves, five 
wild-cats, and one bear, which was entangled in the net and 
then shot. And at last the right hearty pleasure of the day 
began. 

I^'or it was the custom at the ducal court for each hunts- 
man, from the master of the hunt down, to receive a portion of 
the game $ and her Grace took much pleasure now in seeing 
the mode in which the distribution was made. It was done 
in this wise : each man received the head of the animal, and 
as much of the neck as he could cover with the ears, by 
dragging them down with all his might. 

So the huntsmen stood now toiling and sweating, each 
with one foot firmly planted against a stone and the other 
on the belly of the beast, dragging down the ears with all 
his force to the very furthest point they could go, when 
another huntsman, standing by, cut off the head at that point 
with his hunting-knife. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



Then each man let his dog bite at the entrails of a stag, 
while they repeated old charms and verses over them, such 
as : — 

Diana, no better e'er track'd a wood ; 
There's many a huntsman not half so good." 

Or, in Low German : — 

Wasser, if ever the devil you see. 

Bite his leg for him, or he virill bite me." 

These old rhymes pleased the young Casimir mightily : if 
his lady mother would only lend him a ribbon, he would lead 
up little Blaflfert his dog to them, and have a rhyme said over 
him. So her Grace consented, and broke off her sandal-tie 
to fasten in the little dog's collar, because in her hurry she 
could find no other string, and left the tent herself with the 
child to conduct him to the huntsmen. 

Now the moment her Grace had taken her eyes off Si- 
donia, and that all the other ladies had left the tent to follow 
her and the little boy, who was laughing and playing with 
his dog, the young maiden, looking round to see that no one 
was observing her, slipped out and ran in amongst the bushes, 
and my lord. Prince Ernest, slipped after her. No one 
observed them, for all eyes were turned upon the princely 
child, who sprang to a huntsman and begged of him to say a 
rhyme or two over his little dog Blaffert. The carl rubbed 
his forehead, and at last gave out his psalm, as follows, in 
Low German : — 

** Blaffert, Blaffert, thou art fat ! 
If my lord would only feed 
All his people like to that 
Twould be well for Pommem's* need." 

All the bystanders laughed heartily, and then the hounds 
were given their dinner according to the usage, which was 
this : — number of oak and birch trees were felled, and 

* Pomerania. 



132 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

over every two and two there was spread a tablecloth — 
that is, the warm skin of a deer or wild-boar ; into this, as 
into a wooden trencher, was poured the warm blood of the 
wild animals, which the hounds lapped up, while forty hunts- 
men played a march with drums and trumpets, which was 
re-echoed from the neighbouring wood, to the great delight 
of all the listeners. When the hounds had lapped up all the 
blood, they began to eat up the tablecloths likewise ; but as 
these belonged to the huntsmen, a great fight took place 
between them and the dogs for the skins, which was right 
merry to behold, and greatly rejoiced the ducal party and all 
the people. 

In the meantime, as I said, Sidonia had slipped into the 
wood, and the young lord after her. He soon found her 
resting under the shadow of a large nut-tree, and the fol- 
lowing conversation took place between them, as he after- 
wards many times related : — 

" Alas, gracious Prince, why do you follow me ? if your 
lady mother knew of this we should both suffer. My head 
ached after all that firing, and therefore I came hither to 
enjoy a little rest and quietness. Leave me, leave me, my 
gracious lord." 

No, no, he would not leave her until she told him 
whether she still loved him ; for his lady mother watched 
him day and night, like the dragon that guarded the Pome- 
ranian arms, and until this moment he had never seen her 
alone." 

" But what could he now desire to say ? Had he not 
sworn by the corpse of his father never to wed her ? " 

" Yes ; in a moment of anguish he had sworn it, because 
he would have died if she had not been brought back to the 
castle." 

. " But still he must hold by his word to his lady mother, 
would he not ? " 

Impossible ! all impossible ! He would sooner renounce 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 133 

land and people for ever than his beautiful Sidonia. How 
he felt, for the first time, the truth of the holy words, * Love 
is strong as death.' * Then he throws his arms round her 
and kissed her, and asked, would she be his ? 

Here Sidonia covered her fece with both hands, and 
sinking down upon the grass, murmured, "Yours alone, 
either you or death." 

The Prince threw himself down beside her, and besought 
her not to weep. "He could not bear to see her tears; 
besides, there was good hope for them yet, for he had spoken 
to old Zitsewitz, who wished them both well, and who had 
given him some good advice." 

Sidonia (quickly removing her hands). — "What was it?" 

" To have a private marriage. Then the devil himself 
could not separate them, much less the old bigot Ulrich. 
There was a priest in the neighbourhood, of the name of 
Neigialink. He lived in Cnumnyn,-|- with a nun whom he 
had carried off from her convent and married ; therefore he 
would be able to sympathise with lovers, and would help 
them." 

" But his Highness should remember his kingly state, and 
not bring misery on them both for ever." 

" He had considered all that, they should therefore keep 
this marriage private for a year ; she could Hve at Stramehl 
during that period, and receive his visits without his mother 
knowing of the matter. At the end of that year he would 
be of age, and his own master." 

Sidoma (embracing him). — " Ah, if he really loved her so, 
then the sooner the better to the church. But let him take 
care that evil-minded people would not separate them for 
ever, and bring her to an early grave. Had the priest been 
informed that he would be required to wed them ? " 

" Not yet ; but if he continued as strong as he felt to-day, 
he would ride over to Crunmiyn himself (for it was quite 
* Song of Solomon viii. 6. t A town near Wolgast. 



134 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

near to Wolgast) the moment Duke Barnim and her father 
quitted the castle." 

" But how would she know the result of his visit ? his 
mother watched her day and night. Could he send a page 
or a serving-maid to her ? — ^though indeed there were none 
now he could trust, for Ulrich had dismissed all her good 
friends. And if he came himself to her room, evil might be 
spoken of it." 

" He had arranged all that already. There was the bear, 
as she remembered, chained upon the little i3land in the 
horse-pond, just under her window. Now when he returned 
from Crummyn, he would go out by seven in the morning, 
before his lady mother began her spinning, and commence 
shooting arrows at the bear, by way of sport ; then, as if by 
chance, he would let fly an arrow at her window and shiver 
the glass, but the arrow would contain a b'ttle note, detailing 
his visit to the priest at Crummyn, and the arrangement he had 
made for carrying her away secretly from the castle. She must 
take care, however, to move away her seat from the window, 
and place it in a corner, lest the arrow might strike herself." 

But then a loud " Sidonia ! Sidonia ! " resounded through 
the wood, and immediately after, " Ernest ! Ernest ! " 

So she sprang up, and cried, " Run, dearest Prince, run 
as fast as you are able, to the other side, where the huntsmen 
are gathering, and mix with them, so that her Grace may 
not perceive you." This he did, and began to talk to the 
huntsmen about their dogs and the sweep of the chase, and 
as her Grace continued calling " Ernest ! Ernest I " he 
stepped slowly towards her out of the crowd, and asked 
what was her pleasure? So she suspected nothing, and 
grew quite calm again. 

Duke Barnim now began to complain of hunger, and asked 
her Grace where she meant to serve them a collation, for he 
could never hold out until they reached Wolgast, and his 
friend Otto also was growing as ravenous as a wolf. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 135 



Her Grace answered, the collation was laid in the Cisan 
tower, close beside them, and as the weather was good, his 
Grace could amuse himself with the tubum optlcum^ which 
a Pomeranian noble had bought in Middelburg from one 
Johann Lippersein,* and presented to her. By the aid of 
this telescope he would see as far as his own town of Stettin. 
Neither the Duke nor Otto Bork believed it possible to see 
Stettin, at the distance of thirteen or fourteen miles, with any 
instrument. But her Grace, who had heard of Otto's god- 
less infidelity, rebuked him gravely, saying, " You will soon 
be convinced, sir -knight; so we often hold that to be im- 
possible in spiritual matters, which becomes not only possible, 
but certain, when we look through the telescope which the 
Holy Spirit presents to us, weak and short-sighted mortals. 
God give to every infidel such a tubum opttcum!^^ The 
Duke, fearing now that her Grace would continue her 
sermon indefinitely, interrupted her in his jesting way — 
" Listen, dear cousin ! I will lay a wager with you. If I 
cannot see Stettin, as you promise, you shall give me a kiss ; 
but if I see it and recognise it clearly, then I shall give you 
a kiss." 

Her Grace was truly scandalised, as one may imagine, 
and replied angrily — " Good uncle ! if you attempt to offer 
such indignities to me, the princely widow, I must pray your 
Grace to leave my court with all speed, and never to return ! '* 

This rebuke made every one grave until they reached 
the Cisan tower. This building lay only half a mile from 
the hunting-ground, and was situated on the summit of the 
Cisanberg, from whence its name. It was built of wood, 
and contained four stories, besides excellent stabling for 
horses. The apartments were light, airy, and elegant, so 
that her Grace frequently passed a portion of the summer 

* An optician, and the probable inventor of the telescope, which was 
first employed about the end of the sixteenth and the beginning of the 
seventeenth century. 



136 8ID0NIA THE SORCERESS 



time there. The upper itory commanded a view of the 
whole adjacent country. At the foot of the hill ran the 
little river Cisa into the Peen, and many light, beautiful 
bridges were thrown over it at different points. The hill 
itself was finely wooded with pines and other trees, and 
the tower was made more light and airy than that which 
Duke Johann Frederick afterwards erected at Friedrichs- 
wald, and commanded a far finer prospect, seeing that the 
Cisanberg is the highest hill in Pomerania. 

While the party proceeded to the tower, Sidonia rode 
along by her father, and to judge from her animation and 
gestures, she was, no doubt, communicating to him all that 
the young lord had promised, and her hopes, in consequence, 
that a very short period would elapse before he might salute 
her as Duchess of Pomerania. 

When they reached the tower, all admired the view even 
from the lower window, for they could sec the Peen, the 
Achter wasser, and eight or nine towns, besides the sea in the 
distance. I say nothing of Wolgast, which seemed to lie 
just beneath their feet, with its princely castle and cathedral 
perfectly distinct, and all its seats laid out like a map, where 
they could even distinguish the people walking. Then her 
Grace bade them ascend to the upper story, and look out for 
Stettin, but they sought for it in vain with their unassisted 
eyes; then her Grace placed the tubum opticum before the 
Duke, and no sooner had he looked through it than he cried 
out, " As I live. Otto, there is my strong tower of St. James's, 
and my ducal castle to the left, lying far behind the Finken- 
wald mountain." But the unbelieving Thomas laughed, and 
only answered, My gracious Prince ! do not let yourself be 
so easily imposed upon." 

Hereupon the Duke made him look through the telescope 
himself; and no sooner had he applied his eye to the glass 
than he jumped back, rubbed his eyes, looked through a 
second time, and then exclaimed — 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



" Well, as true as my name is Otto Bork, I never could 
have believed this." 

** Now, sir knight," said her Grace, so it is with you as 
concerns spiritual things. How if you should one day find 
that to be true which your infidelity now presumptuously 
asserts to be felse ? Will not your repentance then be bitter ? 
If you have found my words true — the words of a poor, weak, 
sinful woman, will you not much more find those of the holy 
Son of God ? Yes, to your horror and dismay, you will find 
His words to be truth, of whom even His enemies testified 
that He never lied — Matt. xxii. i6. Tremble, sir knight, 
and bethink you that what often seems impossible to man 
is possible to God." 

The bold knight was now completely silenced, and the 
good-natured Duke, seeing that he had not a word to say in 
reply, advanced to his rescue, and changed the conversation 
by saying — 

" See, Otto, the wind seems so ^vourable just now, that I 
think we had better say ^VaU^ to our gracious hostess in 
the morning, and return to Stettin." 

Not a word did his Grace venture to say more about the 
wager of the kisses, for his dear cousin's demeanour restrained 
even his hilarity. Otto had nothing to object to the arrange- 
ment ; and her Grace said, if they were not willing longer to 
abide at her widowed court, she would bid them both God- 
speed upon their journey. And you, sir knight, may take 
back your daughter Sidonia, for our dear son, as you may 
perceive, is now quite restored, and no longer needs her nurs- 
ing. For the good deed she has wrought in curing him, I 
shall recompense her as befits me. But at my court the 
maiden can no longer abide." 

The knight was at first so thunderstruck by these words that 
he could not speak ; but at last drawing himself up proudly, 
he said, " Good ; I shall take the Lady Sidonia back with 
me to my castle ; but as touching the recompense, keep it for 



138 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



those who need it." Sidonia» however, remained quite silent, 
as did also the young lord. 

But hear what happened. The festival lasted until late in 
the night, and then suddenly such a faintness and bodily 
weakness came over the young Prince Ernest that all the 
physicians had to be sent for ; and they with one accord en- 
treated her Grace, if she valued his life, not to send away 
Sidonia. 

One can imagine what her Grace felt at this news. No- 
thing would persuade her to believe but that Sidonia had given 
him some witch-drink, such as the girl out of Daber had 
taught her to make. 

No one could believe either that his Highness affected this 
sickness, in order to force his mother to keep Sidonia at the 
court ; indeed, he afterwards strongly asseverated, and this at 
a time when he would have killed Sidonia with a look, if it 
had been possible, that this weakness came upon him suddenly 
like an ague, and that it could not have been caused by 
anything she had given him, for he had eaten nothing, except 
at the banquet at the Cisan tower. 

In short, the young Prince became as bad as ever ; but 
Sidonia never heeded him, only busied herself packing up her 
things, as if she really intended going away with Otto, and 
finally, as eight o'clock struck the next morning, she wrapped 
herself in her mantle and hood, and went with her father and 
Duke Barnim to take leave of her Grace. She looked as 
bitter and sour as a vinegar-cruet — nothing would tempt her 
to remain even for one day longer. What was her Grace to 
do ? the young lord was dying, and had already despatched 
two pages to her, entreating for one sight of Sidonia ! She 
must give the artful hypocrite good words — but they were of 
no avail — Sidonia insisted on leaving the castle that instant 
with her father ; then turning to Duke Barnim, she exclaimed 
with bitter tears, " Now, gracious Prince, you see yourself 
how I am treated here." 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



Neither would the cuimmg Otto permit his daughter to 
remain on any account, unless, indeed, her Grace gave him a 
written authority to receive the dues on the Jena. Such shame- 
less knavery at last enraged the old Duke Barnim to such a 
degree that he cried out — Listen, Otto, my illustrious cousin 
here has no more to do with the dues on the Jena than you 
have ; they belong to me alone, and I can ^ve no promise until I 
lay the question before my council and the diet of the Stettin 
dukedom : be content, therefore, to wait until then." One 
may easily guess what was the termination of the little drama 
got up by Otto and his Bar daughter — namely, that Otto sailed 
away with the Duke, and that Sidonia remained at the court 
of Wolgast. 

CHAPTER XVI. 

Hom the ghost continued to haunt the castle^ and of its daring 
Behaviour — Item^ how the young lord regcmud his 
strength^ and was able to "oisit Crummyny with what 
happened to him there* 

So Sidonia was again seated by the couch of the young Prince, 
with her hand in his hand ; but her Grace, as may well be 
imagined, was never very hi off from them ; and this annoyed 
Sidonia so much, that she did not scruple to treat the mourning 
mother and princely widow with the utmost contempt; at 
last disdaining even to answer the questions addressed to her 
by her Grace. All this the Duchess bore patiently for the 
sake of her dear son. But even Prince Ernest felt, at length, 
ashamed of such insolent scorn being displayed towards his 
mother, and said — 

**What, Sidonia, will you not even answer my gracious 
mother ? " 

Hereupon the hypocrite sighed, and answered — 

" Ah, my gracious Prince ! I esteem it better to pray in 



SlDüNIA THE SORCERESS 



silence beside your bed than to hold a loud chattering in your 
ears. Besides, when I am speaking to God I cannot, at the 
same time, answer your lady mother." 

This pleased the young man, and he pressed her little hand, 
and kissed it. And very shortly after, his strength returned 
to him wonderfully, so that her Grace and Sidonia only 
watched by him one night. The next day he fell into a 
profound sleep, and awoke from it perfectly recovered. 

In the meantime, the ghost became so daring and trouble- 
some, that all the house stood in fear of it. Oftentimes it 
would be seen even in the clear morning light ; and a maid, 
who had forgotten to make the bed of one of the grooms, 
and ran to the stables at night to finish her work, encountered 
the ghost there, and nearly died of fright Itenif Clara von 
Dewitz, one beautiful moonlight night, having gone out to take 
a turn up and down the corridor, because she could not sleep 
from the toothache, saw the apparition, just as day dawned, 
sinking down into the earth, not far from the chamber of 
Sidonia, to her great horror and astonishment. Item^ her 
Grace, that very same night, having heard a noise in the 
corridor, opened her door, and there stood the ghost before 
her, leaning against a pillar. She was horror-struck, and 
clapped to her door hastily, but said nothing to the young 
Prince, for fear of alarming him. 

He had recovered, as I have said, in a most wonderful 
manner, and though still looking pale and haggard, yet his 
love for the maiden would not permit him to defer his visit to 
Crummyn any longer ; particularly as it lay only half a mile 
from the castle, but on the opposite bank of the river, near 
the island of Usdom. 

Thereupon, on the fourth night, he descended to the little 
water-gate, having previously arranged with his chief equerry, 
Appelmann, to have a boat there in readiness for him, and also 
a good horse, to take across the ferry with them to the other 
side. So, at twelve o'clock, he and Appelmann embarked 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



privately, with Johann Bruwer, the ferryman^ and were safely 
landed at Mahlzow. Here he mounted his horse, and told 
the two others to await his return, and conceal themselves 
in the wood if any one approached. Appelmann begged 
permission to accompany his Highness, which, however, was 
denied; the young Prince charging them strictly to hold 
themselves concealed till his return, and never reveal to human 
being where they had conducted him this evening, on pain of 
his severe anger and loss of favour for ever ; but if they held 
their secret close, he would recompense them at no distant 
time, in a manner even far beyond their hopes. 

So his Highness rode off to Crummyn, where all was 
darkness, except, indeed, one small ray of light that glanced 
from the lower windows of the cloister — ^for it was standing 
at that time. He dismounted, tied his horse to a tree, and 
knocked at the window, through which he had a glimpse of 
an old woman, in nun's garments, who held a crucifix 
between her hands, and prayed. 

"Who are you ? " she demanded. ** What can you want 
here at such an hour ? " 

" I am from Wolgast," he answered, " and must see the 
priest of Crummyn." 

** There is no priest here now." 

" But I have been told that a priest of the name of Neigia- 
link lived here." 

ULu — " He was a Lutheran swaddler and no priest, other- 
wise he would not live in open sin with a nun." 

" It is all the same to me ; only come and show me the 
way." 

lUa. — Was he a heathen or a true Christian ? " 

His Highness could not make out what the old mother 
meant, but when he answered, am a Christian," she 
opened the door, and let him enter her cell. As she lifted up 
the lamp, however, she started back in terror at his young, pale, 
haggard face. Then, looking at his rich garments, she cried — 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



she crouched down again in the cofRn, and recommenced the 
scourging, while she repeated with loud sobs and groans the 
two last verses of the hymn. Scarcely had she ended when 
a small side-door opened, and the dog Storteback began to 
bark vociferously. 

" What ! " exclaimed a voice, " is that old danmed Ca- 
tholic witch at her mummeries, and burning my good wax 
candles all for nothing ? ** 

And, silencing the dog, a man stepped forward hastily, 
but, seeing the Prince, paused in astonishment. Whereupon 
the old mother raised herself up out of the cofHn, and said, 
" Did I not tell your Grace that you would see the hard- 
hearted heretic here ? — ^that is the man you seek." So the 
Prince brought him into the choir, and told him that he was 
Prince Ernest Ludovicus, and came here to request that 
he would privately wed him on the following night, without 
knowledge of any human being, to his beloved and afHanced 
bride, Sidonia von Bork. 

The priest, however, did not care to mix himself up with 
such a business, seeing that he feared Ulrich mightily ; but 
his Grace promised him a better living at the end of the 
year, if he would undertake to serve him now. 

To which the priest answered — "Who knows if your 
Highness will be alive by the end of the year, for you look 
as pale as a corpse ? ** 

" He never felt better in his life. He had been ill lately, 
but now was as sound as a fish. Would he not marry 
him?" 

Hk, — " Certainly not ; unless he received a handsome 
consideration. He had a wife and dear children ; what 
would become of them if he incurred the displeasure of that 
stem Lord Chamberlain and of the princely widow ? " 

" But could he not bring his ßunily to Stettin ; for he 
and his young bride intended to fly there, and put themselves 
under the protection of his dear uncle, Duke Barnim ? " 

VOL. I. K 



146 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



Hk. — " It was a dangerous business ; still, if his High- 
ness gave him a thousand gulden down, and a written promise, 
signed and sealed, that he would provide him with a better 
living before the year had expired, why, out of love for the 
young lord, he would consent to peril himself and his family ; 
but his Highness must not think evil of him for demanding 
the thousand gulden paid down immediately, for how were 
his dear wife and children to be supported through the long 
year otherwise ? " 

His Highness, however, considered the sum too large, and 
said that his gracious mother had scarcely more a year for 
herself than a thousand gulden — she that was the Duchess of 
Pomerania. 

However, they finally agreed upon four hundred gulden ; 
for his Highness showed him that Doctor Luther himself 
had only four hundred gulden a year, and surely he would 
not require more than the great reformator ecclesia. 

So everything was arranged at last, the priest promising 
to perform the ceremony on the third night from that; 
" For some time," he said, " would be necessary to collect 
people to assist them in their flight, and money must be 
distributed ; but his Highness would, of course, repay all 
that he expended in his behalf, and further promise to 
give him and his family free quarters when they reached 
Stettin." 

After the ceremony, they could reach the boat through 
the convent garden, and sail away to Warte.* Then he 
would have four or five peasants in waiting, with carriages 
ready, to escort them to East Clune, from whence they 
could take another boat and cross the HafiT into Stettin ; for, 
as they could not reckon on a fair wind with any certainty, 
it was better to perform the journey half by land and half 
by water ; besides, the fishermen whom he intended to em- 
ploy were not accustomed to sail up the Peen the whole way 
• A town near Usdom. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



147 



into the HafF, for their little fishing-smacks were too slight to 
stand a strong current. 

Hereupon the Prince answered, that, since it was neces- 
s;iry, he would wait until the third night, when the priest 
should have everything in readiness,^ but meanwhile should 
confide the secret to no one. So he turned away, and 
comforted the old mother again with his promises as he 
passed out. 

The next morning, having written all down for Sidonia, 
and concealed the note in an arrow, he went forth as he had 
arranged, and began to tease the bear by shooting arrows at 
him, till the beast roared and shook his chain. Then, per- 
ceiving that Sidonia had observed him from the window, 
he watched a &vourable opportunity, and shot the arrow up, 
right through her window, so that the pane of glass rattled 
down upon the floor. In the billet therein concealed he 
explained the whole plan of escape ; and asked her to inform 
him, in return, how she could manage to come to him on 
the third night. Would his dearest Sidonia put on the 
dress of a page ? He could bring it to her little chamber 
himself the next night. She must write a little note in 
answer, and conceal it in the arrow as he had done, then 
throw it out of the window, and he would be on the watch to 
pick it up. 

So Sidonia replied to him that she was content; but, as 
regarded the page's dress, he must leave it, about ten o'clock 
the next night, upon the beer-barrel in the corridor, but not 
attempt to bring it himself to her chamber. Concerning the 
manner in which she was to meet him on the third night, had 
he forgotten that the old castellan barred and bolted all that 
wing of the castle by eleven o'clock, so that she could never 
leave the corridor by the usual way ; but there was a trap- 
door near her little chamber which led down into the ducal 
stables, and this door no one ever thought of or minded — it 
was never bolted night or day, and was quite large enough for 



148 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



a man to creep through. Her dear Prince might wait for her, 
by that trap-door, at eleven o'clock on the appointed night. 
He could not mistake it, for the large basket lay close behind, 
in which her Grace kept her darling little kittens 5 from thence 
they could easily get into the outer courtyard, which was 
never locked, and, after that, go where they pleased. If he 
approved of this arrangement, let him shoot another arrow 
into her room ; but, above all things, he was to keep at a 
distance from her during the day, that her Grace might not 
suspect anything. 

Having thrown the arrow out of the window, and received 
another in answer from the Prince, which the artful hypocrite 
flung out as if in great anger, she ran to Clara's room, and 
complained bitterly how the young lord had broken her win- 
dow, because, forsooth, he must be shooting arrows at the 
bear ; and so she had to come into her room out of the cold 
air, until the glazier came to put in the glass. When Clara 
asked how she could be so angry with the young Prince — 
did she not love him any longer ? — Sidonia replied, that truly 
she had grown very tired of him, for he did nothing but sigh 
and groan whenever he came near her, like an asthmatic old 
woman, and had grown as thin and dry as a baked plum. 
There was nothing very lovable about him now. Would to 
Heaven that he were quite well, and she would soon bid fare- 
well to the castle and every one in it ; but the moment she 
spoke of going his sickness returned, so that she was obliged 
to remain, which was much against her inclination ; and this 
she might tell Clara in confidence, because she had always 
been her truest friend. 

Then she pretended to weep, and cursed her beauty, which 
had brought her nothing but unhappiness; thereupon the 
tender-hearted Clara began to comfort her, and kissed her ; 
and the moment Sidonia left her to get the glass mended, Clara 
ran to her Grace to tell her the joyful tidings ; but, alas ! that 
very day the wickedness of the artful maiden was brought to 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 149 



light. For what happened in the afternoon ? See, the nun 
of Cmmmyn steps out of a boat at the little water-gate, and 
places herself in a corner of the courtyard, where the pebple 
soon gather round in a crowd, to laugh at her white garments 
and black scapulary ; and the boys begin to pelt the poor old 
mother with stones, and abuse her, calling her the old Papist 
witch ; but by good fortune the castellan comes by, and com- 
mands the crowd to leave off tormenting her, and then asks 
her business. 

Ilia. — " She must speak instantly to her Grace the princely 
widow." 

So the old man -brings her to her Grace, with whom Clara 
was still conversing, and the old nun, after she had kneeled 
to the Duchess and kissed her hand, began to relate how her 
young lord. Prince Ernest, had been with her the night be- 
fore, while she was keeping the vigilia of holy St. Bernard 
to the best of her ability, and had urgently demanded to see 
the Lutheran priest named Neigialink, and that when this 
same priest came into the church to scold her, as was his wont, 
he and the Prince had retired into the choir, and there held 
a long conversation which she did not comprehend. But the 
priest's mistress had told her the whole business this morning, 
under a promise of secrecy — namely, that the priest, her leman, 
had promised to wed Prince Ernest privately, on the third 
night from that, to a certain young damsel named Sidonia 
von Bork. That the Prince had given him a thousand 
gulden for his services, and a promise of a rich living when 
he succeeded to the government, so that in fiiture she could 
live as grand as an abbess, and have what beautiful horses she 
chose from the ducal stables. 

" And this," said the nun, " was told me by the priest's 
mistress; but as I have a true Pomeranian heart, although, 
indeed, the Prince has left the good old religion, I could not 
rest in peace until I stepped into a boat, weak and old as I 
am, and sailed off here direct to inform your Grace of the 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



plot." She only asked one favour in return for her service. 
It was that her Grace would permit her to end the rest of 
her days peaceably in the cloister, and protect her from the 
harshness of the Lutheran priests and the fury of the mob, 
who fell on her like mad dogs here in the castle court, and 
would have torn her to pieces if the castellan had not come 
by and rescued her. But above all, she requested and prayed 
her Grace to permit a true priest to come to her from Gryps- 
wald, who could give her the holy Eucharist, and prepare her 
for death. But her Grace was struck dumb by astonishment 
and alarm, and Clara could not speak either, only wrung her 
hands in anguish. And her Grace continued to walk up and 
down the room weeping bitterly, until at last she sat down 
before her desk to indite a note to old Ulrich, praying for 
his presence without delay, and straightway despatched the 
chief equerry, Appelmann, with it to Spantekow. 

The old nun still continued crying, would not her Grace 
send her a priest ? But her Grace refused ; for in fact she 
was a stern upholder of the pure doctrine. Anything else 
the old mother demanded she might have, but with the 
abominations of Popery her Grace would have nothing to do. 
Still the old nun prayed and writhed at her feet, crying and 
groaning, For the love of God, a priest ! for the love of 
God, a priest ! " but her Grace drew herself up stiff and stern, 
and let the old woman writhe there unheeded, until at length 
she motioned to Clara to have her removed to the court- 
yard, where the poor creature leaned up against the pump in 
bitter agony, and drew forth a crucifix from her bosom, kissed 
it, and looking up to heaven, cried, Jesu ! Jesu ! art Thou 
come at last ? " and then dropped down dead upon the pave- 
ment, which the crowd no sooner observed than they gathered 
round the corpse, screaming out, ** The devil has carried her 
off ! See ! üie devil has carried off the old Papist witch ! " 
Hearing the uproar, her Grace descended, as did also the 
young lord and Sidonia, who both appeared as if they knew 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 151 



nothing at all about the old nun. And her Grace commanded 
that the executioner should by no means drag away the body, 
as the people demanded, who were now rushing to the spot 
from all quarters of the town, but that it should be decently 
lifted into the boat and conveyed back again to Crummyn, 
there to be interred with the other members of the sisterhood 
at the cloister. 

No word did she speak, either to her undutiful son or to 
Sidonia, about what she had heard ; only when the latter asked 
her what the nun came there for, she answered coldly, " For 
a Popish priest." Hereupon the young Prince was filled with 
joy, concluding that nothing had been betrayed as yet. And 
it was natural the old nun should come with this request, 
seeing that she had made the same to him. Her Grace also 
strictly charged Clara to observe a profound silence upon all 
they had heard, until the old chamberlain arrived, and this 
she promised. 



CHAPTER XVn. 

Of Ulrich* s counsels — //«n, hov) Clara von Dewitz came upon 
the track of the ghost • 

At eleven o'clock that same night, the good and loyal Lord 
Ulrich arrived at the castle with Appelmann, from Spantekow, 
and just waited to change his traveUing dress before he pro- 
ceeded to the apartment of her Grace. He found her seated 
with Clara and another maiden, weeping bitterly. Dr. Ger- 
schovius was also present. When the old man entered, her 
Grace's lamentations became yet louder — alas ! how she was 
afflicted ! Who could have believed that all this had come 
upon her because the devil, out of malice, had made Dr. 
Luther drop her wedding-ring at the bridal! And when 
the knight asked in alarm what had happened, she replied 



152 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



that tears prevented her speaking, but Dr. Gerschovius would 
tell him all. 

So the doctor related the whole affair, from the declaration 
of the old. nun to the hypocritical conduct of Sidonia towards 
Clara von Dewitz, upon which the old knight shook his head, 
and said, " Did I not counsel your Grace to let the young 
lord die, in God's name, for better is it to lose life than 
honour. Had he died then, so would the Almighty have 
raised him pure and perfect at the last day, but now he is 
growing daily in wickedness as a young wolf in ferocity." 

Then her Grace made answer, the past could not now 
be recalled ; and that she was ready to answer before God 
for what she had done through motherly love and tenderness. 
They must now advise her how to save her infatuated son 
from the snares of this wanton. Dr. Gerschovius, thereupon, 
gave it as his opinion that they should each be placed in 
strict confinement for the next fourteen days, during which 
time he would visit and admonish them twice a day, by 
which means he hoped soon to turn their hearts to God. 

Here old Ulrich laughed outright, and asked the doctor, 
was he still bent upon teaching Sidonia her catechism ? 
As to the young lord, no admonition would do him good 
now ; he was thoroughly bewitched by the girl, and though 
he made a hundred promises to give her up, would never 
hold one of them. Alas ! alas ! that the son of good Duke 
Philip should be so degenerate. 

But her Grace wept bitterly, and said, that never was 
there a more obedient, docile, and amiable child than her 
dear Ernest; skilled in all the fine arts, and gifted by 
nature with all that could ensure a mother's love. " But how 
does all this help him now ? " cried Ulrich. " It is with a 
good heart as with a good ship, unless you guide it, it will 
run aground — stand by the helm, or the best ship will be 
lost. What had the country to expect from a Prince who 
would die, forsooth, unless his mistress sat by his bedside ? 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 153 



Ah ! if he could only have followed the funeral of the young 
lord, he would have given a hundred florins to the poor 
that very day ! " 

"It was not her son's fault — that base hypocrite had 
caused it all by some heU magic." 

//Zf. — "That was quite impossible; however, he would 
believe it to please her Grace." 

" Then let him speak his opinion, if the counsel of Dr. 
Gerschovius did not please him." 

lUe, — " His advice, then, was to keep quiet until the third 
night, then secretly place a guard round the castle and at 
the wing, and when the bridal party met, take them out 
prisoners, send my young lord to the tower, but disgrace 
Sidonia publicly, and send her off where she pleased — to the 
fiend, if she liked." 

" Then they would have the same old scene over again ; 
her son would fall sick, and Sidonia could not be brought 
back to cure him, if once she had been publicly disgraced 
before all the people. So matters would be worse than 
ever." 

Hereupon old Ulrich fell into such a rage that he cursed 
and swore, that her Grace treated him no better than a 
fool, to bring him hither from Spantekow, and then refuse 
to take his advice. As to Sidonia, her Grace had already 
brought disgrace upon her princely house, by first turning 
her out, and then praying her to come back before three days 
had elapsed. All Pomerania talked of it, and old Otto Bork 
did not scruple to brag and boast everywhere, that her 
Grace had no peace or rest from her conscience until she 
had asked forgiveness from the Lady Sidonia (as the vain 
old knave called her) and entreated her to return. Now 
if she took the advice of Doctor Gerschovius, and first 
imprisoned and then turned away Sidonia, no one would 
believe in her story of the intended marriage, but look on 
her conduct as only a confirmation of all the hard treatment 



154 8ID0NIA THK SORCKRKSS 



which her Grace was rq)orted to have employed toward» 
the girl ; whereas if she only waited till the whole bridal 
prty were ready to start, and then arretted Sidonia, her 
Grace was justified before the whole world, for what greater 
fault could be committed than thus to entrap the young 
Prince into a secret marriage, and run away with him by 
night from the castle? Let her Grace then send for the 
executioner, and let him give Sidonia a public whipping 
before all the people. No one would think the punishment 
too hard, for seducing a Prince of Pomerania into a marriage 
with her. 

So the princely widow of Duke Philip will be justified 
before all the world ; and when the young lord sees his bride 
so disgraced, he will assuredly be right willing to give her 
up ; even if he fall sick, it is im]K)ssible that he could send 
for a maiden to sit by his bed who had been publicly 
whipped by the executioner. Those were stern measures, 
perhaps, but a branch of the old Pomeranian tree was 
decayed ; it must be lopped, or the whole tree itself would 
niion fall. 

When the Grand Chamberlain ceased speaking, her Grace 
considered the matter well, and finally pronounced that she 
would follow his advice, whereupon, as the night waxed late, 
Hhc dismissed the party to their beds, retaining only Clara with 
her for a little longer. 

But a strange thing happened as she, too, finally quitted her 
Grace, and proceeded along the corridor to her own little 
apartment — and here let every one consider how the hand of 
God is in everything, and what great events He can bring 
forth from the slightest causes, as a great oak springs up from 
a little acorn. 

For as the maiden walked along, her sandal became un- 
fastened, and tripped her, so that she nearly fell upon her face, 
whereupon she ]>aused, and ])lacing her foot upon a beer-barrel 
that stood against the wail not far from Sidonta's chamber, 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 155 



began to fasten it, but lo ! just at that moment the head of 
the ghost appeared rising through the trap-door, and looked 
round, then, as if aware of her presence, drew back, and she 
heard a noise as if it had jumped down on the earth beneath. 
She was horribly frightened, and crept trembling to her bed ; 
but then on reflecting over this apparition of the serpent knight, 
it came into her head that it could not be a ghost, since it came 
down on the ground with such a heavy jump ; she prayed 
to God, therefore, to help her in discovering this matter, 
and as she could not sleep, rose before the first glimmer of 
daylight to examine this hole which lay so close to Sidonia's 
chamber, and there truly she discovered the trap-door, and 
having opened, found that it lay right over a large coach in the 
ducal stables ; thereupon she concluded that the ghost was no 
other than the Prince himself who thus visited Sidonia. 

Then she remembered that the ghost had been particularly 
active while the young Prince lay sick on his bed watched 
by his mother ; so to make the matter clearer she went the 
next evening into the stables, and observing the coach, which 
lay just beneath the hole, sprinkled fine ash-dust all round it. 
Then returning to her room, she waited until it grew quite 
dark, and as ten o'clock struck and all the doors of the corridor 
leading to the women's apartments were barred and bolted, 
she wrapped herself in a black mantle and stole out with a 
palpitating heart into the gallery. Remembering the large 
beer-barrel near Sidonia's room, she crouched down behind 
it, and from thence had a distinct view of the trap-door, and 
also of Sidonia's chamber. There she waited for about an 
hour, when she perceived the young Prince coming, but not 
through the trap-door. He knocked lightly at Sidonia's door, 
who opened it instantly, and^they held a long whispering con- 
versation together. He had brought her the page's dress, and 
there was nothing to be feared now, for he had examined the 
trap and fiDund they could easily get out through it on the top 
of the coach, and from thence into the stables. After that 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 159 



Bork as Sidonia's has brought disgrace. Therefore I will 
trust you. Listen, Marcus. If the ghost does not appeiir 
to-night, then you must ride the morrow morn to Crumrayn. 
Bribe the priest with gold. Tell him that he must write 
instantly to the young Prince, saying, that the marriage must 
be delayed for eight days, for there was no boat to be had 
safe enough to carry him and his bride up the HafF, seeing 
that all the boats and their crews were engaged at the 
fisheries, and would not be back to Crummyn until the 
following Saturday. The young lord, therefore, must have 
patience. Should the priest hesitate, then Marcus must 
threaten him with the loss of his living, as the whole princely 
house should be made acquainted with his villainy. He will 
then consent. I know him well ! 

"If that is once arranged, then we shall seat ourselves 
every night in the coach until the ghost comes ; and, me- 
thinks, he will not long delay, since hitherto he has managed 
his work with such security and success.'* 

The discreet and virtuous Marcus promised to obey Ulrich 
in all things, and the Grand Chamberlain then went his way. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

How the horrible wickedness of Sidonia was made apparent ; 
and how in consequence thereof she was Banished with 
ignominy from the ducal court of IVoigast* 

The night came at last. And the Grand Chamberlain col- 
lected, as he had said, all the officials and pages of the house- 
hold together in his office at the treasury, and bid them wait 
there until he summoned them. No one was to leave the 
apartment under pain of his severe displeasure. Item^ he 
had prayed her Grace not to retire to rest that night before 
twelve of the clock; and when she asked wherefore, he 



i6o SIDONIA THK SOKCKKKSS 

rq)lic(l that »hc would have to take leave of a very remark- 
able vinitor that night $ upon which ithe denired to know 
more, but he said that hi» word wa« pa«i»ed not to reveal 
more. So her Grace thought he meant himself, and pro- 
mised to remain up. 

As ten o'clock struck, the castellan locked up, as was his 
wont, all that portion of the castle leading to the women's 
apartments. Whereuj)on Ulrich asked him for the keys, 
saying that he would keep them in his own charge. Then 
he prayed his Serene Highness Prince Ivrnest to accompany 
him to the lumber-room. 

His Highness consented, and they both ascended in the 
darL On entering, Ulrich drew forth a dark lantern from 
beneath his cloak, and made the light fall u{K>n an old suit of 
armour. Then turning to the Prince — " Do you know this 
armour ? " he said. 

** Ah, yes ; it was the armour of his dearly beloved father, 
Duke J^hilip." 

///f. — Right. Did he then remember the admonitions 
which the wearer of this armour had uttered, upon his death- 
Ixrd, to him and his brothers ? *' 

"Oh yes, well he remembered them; but what did this 
long sermon denote ? " 

///f. — "This he would soon know. Had he not given 
his right hand to the wearer of that armour, and pledged 
himself ever to set a good example before the people com- 
mitted to his rule ? " 

I/ic, — " He did not know what all this meant. Had he 
even set a bad example to his subjects ? " 

Ille, — " He was on the high-road to do it, when he had 
resolved to wed himself secretly to a maiden beneath his 
rank. ( Here the young Prince became as pale as a corpse. ) 
Let him deny, if he could, that he had sworn by his father's 
corpse, with his kind upon the coffin, to abandon Sidonia« 
He would not upbraid him with his broken promises to him, 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS i6i 



but would he bring his loving mother to her grave through 
shame and a broken heart ? Would he make himself on a 
level with the lowest of the people, by wedding Sidonia the 
next night in the church at Crummyn ? ** 

Hie. — ^*«Had that accursed Catholic nun then betrayed 
him ? Ah, he was surrounded by spies and traitors ; but if he 
could not obtain Sidonia now, he would wed her the moment 
he was of age and succeeded to the government. If he could 
in no way have Sidonia, then he would never wed another 
woman, but remain single and a dead branch for his whole 
life long. Her blood was as noble as his own, and no devil 
should dare to part them.** 

Ille. — " But if he could prove, this very night, to the young 
lord, that Sidonia was not an honourable maiden, but a dis« 

honoured creature* '* Here the young Prince drew his 

dagger and rushed upon the old man, with lips foaming with 
rage ; but Ulrich sprang behind the armour of Duke Philip, 
and said calmly, " Ernest, if thou wouldst murder me who 
have been so leal and faithful a servant to thee and thine, then 
strike me dead here through the links of thy Other's cuirass.** 

And as the young man drew back with a deep groan, he 
continued — Hear me, before thou dost a deed which eternity 
will not be long enough to repent. I cannot be angry with 
thee, for I have been young myself, and would have stricken 
any one to the earth who had called my own noble bride dis- 
honoured. Listen to me, th^n, and strike me afterwards, if 
thou wilt." Hereupon the old knight stepped out from be- 
hind the armour, which was fixed upon a wooden frame in 
the middle of the apartment, with the helmet surmounting it, 
and leaning against the shoulder-piece, he proceeded to relate 
all that Clara had seen and heard. 

The young Prince turned first as red as scarlet, then pale 
as a corpse, and sunk down upon a pile of old armour, unable 
to utter anything but sighs and groans. 

Ulrich then asked if he remembered the silly youth who 

YOU I. L 



i62 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



had been drowned lately in consequence of Sidonia's folly ; 
for it was his apparition in the armour he then wore which it 
was reported haunted the castle. And did he remember also 
how that armour (in which the poor young man's father also 
had been killed fighting against the Bohemians) had been 
taken off the corpse and hung up again in that lumber-room ? 

Hie. — ** Of course he remembered all that ; it had happened 
too lately for him to forget the circumstance/' 

///f. — " Well, then, let him take the lantern himself, and 
see if the armour hung still upon the wall/' So the young 
lord took the lantern with trembling hands, and advanced to 
the place ; but no— there was no armour there now. Then 
he looked all round the room, but the armour with the serpent 
crest was nowhere to be seen. He dropped the lantern with 
a bitter execration. Hereupon the old knight continued— 

You see, my gracious Prince, that the ghost must have flesh 
and blood, like you or me. The castellan tells me that when 
the ghost first began his pranks, the helmet and cuirass were 
still found every morning in their usual place here. But for 
eight days they have not been forthcoming ; for the ghost, you 
see, is growing hardy and forgetting his usual precautions. 
However, the castellan had determined to watch him, and 
seize hold of him, for, as he rightly conjectured, a spirit could 
not carry away a heavy iron suit of armour on him ; but his 
wife had dissuaded him from those measures up to the present 
time. Come now to the stables with me," continued Ulrich, 
** and let us conceal ourselves in the coach which I mentioned 
to you ; Marcus Bork shall accompany us, and let us wait 
there until the ghost appears, and creeps through the trap- 
door. After some time we shall follow him ; and then this 
wicked cheat will be detected. But before we ^ove, swear 
to me that you will await the issue peaceably and calmly in the 
coach ; you must neither sigh nor groan, nor scarcely breathe. 
No matter what you hear or see, if you cannot control your 
fierce, jealous rage, all will be lost" 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 163 



Then the young Prince gave him his hand, and promised to 
keep silence, though it should cost him his life, for no one 
could be more anxious to discover the truth or ^sehood of 
this matter than he himself. So they both descended now 
to the courtyard, Ulrich concealing the lantern under his 
mantle ; and they crouched along by the wall till they reached 
the horse-pond, where Marcus Bork stood awaiting them ; 
then they glided on, one by one, into the stables, and concealed 
themselves within the coach. 

It was well they did so without longer delay, for scarcely 
had they been seated when the ghost appeared. No doubt 
he had heard of the intended marriage, and wished to take 
advantage of his last opportunity. As the sound of his feet 
became audible approaching the coach, the Prince almost 
groaned audibly; but the stout old knight threw one arm 
powerfully round his body, and placed the hand of the other 
firmly over his mouth. The ghost now began to ascend the 
coach, and they heard him clambering up the hind wheel ; he 
slipped down, however (a bad omen), and muttered a half- 
curse ; then, to help himself up better, he seized hold of the 
sash of the window, and with it took a grip of Ulrich's beard, 
as he was leaning close to the side of the coach to watch his 
proceedings. Not a stir did the brave old knight make, but 
sat as still as marble, and even held his breath, lest the ghost 
might feel it warm upon his hand, and so discover their 
ambuscade. 

At last he was up; and they heard him clattering over 
tlieir heads, then creeping through the trap-door into the cor- 
ridor, and a little after, the sound of a door gently opening. 

All efforts were in vain to keep the Prince quiet. He 
must follow him. He would rush through the trap-door 
after him, though it cost him his life! But old Ulrich 
whispered in his ear, "Now I know that Prince Ernest 
has neither honour nor discretion, and Pomerania has little 
to hope from such a ruler.'* All in vain — he springs out of 



164 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



the coach, but the knight after him, who hastily gave Marcus 
Dork the keys of the castle, and bade him go fetch the 
household, down to the menials, here to the gallery. Marcus 
took them, and left the stables instantly. Then Ulrich 
seized the hand of Prince Ernest, who was already on the 
top of the coach, and asked him was it thus he would leave 
an old man without any one to assist him. Let him in first 
through the trap-door, while the Prince held the lantern. 
To this he consented, and helped the old knight up, who, 
having reached the trap-door, put his head through ; but, 
alas ! the portly stomach of the stout old knight would not 
follow. He stretched out his head, however, on every side, 
as far as it could go, and heard distinctly low whispering 
voices from Sidonia's little room ; then a sound as of the 
tramp of many feet became audible in the courtyard, by which 
he knew that Marcus and the household were advancing 
rapidly 

But the young lord, who was waiting at the top of the 
coach, grew impatient, and pulled him back, endeavouring to 
creep through the hole himself. Praised be Heaven, how- 
ever, this he failed to do from weakness ; so he was obliged 
to follow the Grand Chamberlain, who whispered to him to 
come down, and they could reach the corridor through the 
usual entrance. Hereupon they both left the stables, and 
met Marcus in the courtyard with his company. 

Then all ascended noiselessly to the gallery, and ranged 
themselves around Sidonia's door. Ulrich now told eight 
of the strongest carls present to step forward and lean their 
shoulders against the door, but make no stir until he gave a 
sign ; then when he cried Now ! " they should burst it 
open with all their force. 

As to the young Prince, he was trembling like an aspen 
leaf, and his weakness was so great that two young men had 
to support him. In short, as all present gradually stole 
closer and closer up to the door of Sidonia's room, the old 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS i6j 



knight drew forth his lantern, and signed to the men, who 
stoi)d with tlieir shoulders pressed against it ; tlien when all 
was ready, he cried ** Now ! " and the door burst open 
with a loud crash. Every lock, and bar, and bolt shivered 
to atoms, and in rushed the whole party, Ulrich at their 
head, with his lantern lifted high up above them all. 

Sidonia and her visitor were standing in the middle of the 
room. Ulrich first flashed the light upon the facb of the 
man. Who would have believed it ? — ^no other than Johann 
Appelmann 1 The knight hit him a heavy blow across the 
face, exclaiming, «*What! thou common horse -jockey — 
thou low-born \'arlet — is it thus thou bringest disgrace upon 
a maiden of the noblest house in Pomerania ? Ha, thou shalt 
be jKiid for this. Wait! Master Hansen shall give thee 
some of his gentle love- touches this night ! " 

But meanwhile the young Prince had entered, and beheld 
Sidonia, as she stood there trembling from shame, and en- 
deavouring to cover her face with her long, beautiful golden 
hair that fell almost to her knees. ** Sidonia ! " he ex- 
claimed, with a cry as bitter as if a dagger had passed through 
his heiu-t — ** Sidonia ! " and fell insensible before her. 

Now a great clamour arose amongst the crowd, for beside 
the couch lay the helmet and cuirass of the ghost ; so every 
one knew now who it was that had played this trick on them 
for so long, and kept the castle in such a state of terror. 

Then they gathered round the poor young Prince, who 
lay there as stiff as a corpse, and lamented over him with 
loud lamentations, and some of them lifted him up to carry 
him out of the chamber ; but the Grand Chamberlain sternly 
commanded them to lay him down again before his bride, 
whom he had arranged to wed privately at Crummyn on the 
following night. Then seizing Sidonia by the hand, and 
dashing back her long hair, he led her forward before all 
the people, and said with a loud voice, " See hei-e the illus- 
trious and high-born Lady Sidonia, of the holy Roman 



i66 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



Empire, Duchess of Pomerania, Cassuben, and Wenden, 
Princess of Rügen, Countess of Giitzkow, and our Serene 
and most Gracious Lady, how she honours the princely house 
of Pomerania by sharing her love with this stable groom, 
this tailor's son, this debauched profligate ! Oh ! I could 
grow mad when I think of this disgrace. Thou shameless 
one ! have I not long ago given thee thy right name ? But 
wait — ^the name shall be branded on thee this night, so that 
all the world may read it." 

Just then her Grace entered with Clara, followed by all 
the other maids of honour ; for, hearing the noise and 
tumult, they had hastened thither as they were, some half 
undressed, others with only a loose night-robe flung round 
them. And her Grace, seeing the young lord lying pale 
and insensible on the ground, wrung her hands and cried 
out, " Who has killed my son ? who has murdered my 
darling child ? " 

Here stepped forward Ulrich, and said, "The young 
lord was not dead ; but, if it so pleased God, was in a fair 
way now to regain both life and reason." Then he related 
all which had led to this discovery ; and how they had that 
night been themselves the witnesses of Sidonia's wickedness 
with the false ghost. Now her Grace knew his secret, 
which he had not told until certain of success. 

As he related all these things, her Grace turned upon 
Sidonia and spat on her ; and the young lord, having re- 
covered somewhat in consequence of the water they had 
thrown on him, cried out, "Sidonia! is it possible? No, 
Sidonia, it is not possible ! ** 

The shameless hypocrite had now recovered her self-pos- 
session, and would have denied all knowledge of Appelmann, 
saying that he forced himself in when she chanced to open 
the door ; but he, interrupting her, cried, " Does the girl 
dare to lay all the blame on me? Did you not press my 
hand there when you were lying after you fell from the 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 167 



stag ? Did you not meet me afterwards in the lumber- 
room — that day of the hunt when Duke Barnim was here 
last?" 

" No, no, no ! ** shrieked Sidonia. " It is a lie, an in- 
famous lie ! '* But he answered, " Scream as you will, you 
cannot deny that this disguise of the ghost was your own 
invention to favour my visits to you. Did you not drop notes 
for me down on the coach, through the trap-door, fixing the 
nights when I might come ? and bethink you of last night, 
when you sent me a note by your maid, wrapped up in a 
little horse-cloth which I had lent you for your cat, with the 
prayer that I would not foil to be with you that night nor 
the next " — Oh, just Heaven ! to think that it was upon that 
very night that Clara should break her shoe-string, by which 
means the Almighty turned away ruin and disgrace from 
the ancient, illustrious, and princely house of Pomerania — all 
by a broken shoe-string! For if the ghost had remained 
away but that one night, or Clara had not broken her shoe- 
string, Sidonia would have been Duchess of Pomerania ; but 
what doth the Scripture say? "Man*8 goings are of the 
Lord. What man understandeth his own way?" (Prov. 
XX. 24). 

When Sidonia heard him tell all this, and how she had 
written notes of entreaty to him, she screamed aloud, and 
springing at him like a wild-cat, buried her ten nails in his 
hair, shrieking, " Thou liest, traitor ; it is false ! it is false ! " 

Now Ulrich rushed forward, and seized her by her long 
hair to part them, but at that moment Master Hansen > 
the executioner, entered in his red cloak, with six assistants 
(for Ulrich had privately sent for him), and the Grand 
Chamberlain instantly let go his hold of Sidonia, saying. 

You come in good time, Master Hansen ; take away this 
wretched pair, lock them up in the bastion tower, and on 
the morn bring them to the horse-market by ten of the 
clock, and there scourge and brand them ; then carry them 



i6S SIDONIA THE 80RCKRKSS 



both to the frontier out of our good iStatc of Wolgant, ami 
let them both go their ways from that, whither it may please 
them»" 

When Sidonia heard this, she let go her paramour and fell 
fainting upon the bed ; but recovering herself in a little time, 
she exclaimed, " What is this you talk of ? A noble maiden 
who is as innocent as the child in its cradle, to be scourged 
by the common executioner? Oh, is there no Christian 
heart here to take pity on a poor, helpless girl 1 Gracious 
young Prince, even if all the world hold me guilty, you 
cannot, no, you cannot ; it is impossible 1 *' 

Hereupon the young lord began to tremble like an aspen 
leaf, and said in a broken voice, Alas, Sidonia ! you be- 
trayed yourself: if you had not mentioned that trap-door 
to me, I might still have believed you innocent (I, who 
thought some good angel had guided you to it ! ) ; now it is 
impossible; yet be comforted, the executioner shall never 
scourge you nor brand you — you are branded enough 
already/' Then turning to the Grand Chamberlain he said, 
that with his consent a hangman should never lay his hands 
upon this nobly born maiden, whom he had once destined to 
be Duchess of Pomerania ; but Appelmann, this base-born 
vassal, who had eaten of his bread and then betrayed him 
like a Judas, let him be flogged and branded as much as they 
pleased ; no word of his should save the accursed seducer 
from punishment. 

Notwithstanding this, old Ulrich was determined on 
having Sidonia scourged, and my gracious lady the Duchess 
must have her scourged too. Let her dear son only think 
that if the all-merciful God had not interposed, he would 
have been utterly ruined and his princely house disgraced, 
by means of this girl. Nothing but evil had she brought with 
her since first she set foot in the castle : she had caused his 
sickness ; //rm, the death of two young knights by drowning ; 
hmf the terrible execution of Joachim Budde, who was 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 169 



beheaded at the festival ; and had she not, in addition, 
whipped her dear little Casimir, which unseemly act had 
only lately come to her knowledge ? and had she not also 
made every man in the castle that approached her mad for 
love of her, all by her diabolical conduct ? No— away with 
the wretch : she merits her chastisement a thousand and a 
thousand-fold ! And old Ulrich exclaimed likewise, «* Away 
with the wretch and her paramour ! ** 

Here the young lord made an effort to spring forward to 
save her, but fell fainting on the ground ; and while the at- 
tendants were busy running for water to throw over him, Clara 
von Dewitz, turning away the executioner with her hand 
from Sidonia, fell down on her knees before her Grace, 
and besought her to spare at least the person of the poor, 
unfortunate maiden ; did her Grace think that any punish- 
ment could exceed what she had already suffered ? Let her 
own compassionate heart plead along with her words — and 
did not the Scripture say, ** Vengeance is mm^, saith the 
Lord." 

Hereupon her Grace looked at old Ulrich without speak- 
ing ; but he understood her glance, and made answer — " No ; 
the hangman must do his duty towards the wretch ! " when 
her Grace said mildly^ ** But for the sake of this dear, good 
young maiden, I think we might let her go, for, remember, 
if she had not opened out this villainy to us, the creature 
would have been my daughter-in-law, and my princely house 
disgraced for evermore," 

Now Marcus Bork stepped forward, and added his prayers 
that the noble name he bore might not be disgraced in 
Sidonia. " He had ever been a faithful feudal vassal to her 
princely house, and had not even scrupled to bring the secret 
wicked deeds of his cousin before the light of day, though it 
was like a martyrdom of his own flesh and blood for con- 
science' sake.** 

Here old Ulrich burst forth in great haste — «« Seven 



I70 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



thousand devils ! Let the wench be off, then. Not another 
night should she rest in the castle. Let her speak — where 
would she go to ? where should they bring her to ? " 

And when Sidonia answered, sobbing, **To Stettin, to 
her gracious lord, Duke Barnim, who would take pity on 
her because of her innocence," Ulrich laughed outright in 
scorn. " I shall give the driver a letter to him, and another 
to thy father. Perhaps his Grace will show thee true pity, 
and drive thee with his horsewhip to Stramehl. But thou 
shalt journey in the same coach whereon thy leman clambered 
up to the trap-door, and Master Hansen shall sit on the 
coach-box and drive thee himself. As to thy darling stable- 
groom here, the master must set his mark on him before he goes ; 
but that can be done when the hangman returns from Stettin." 

When Appelmann heard this, he fell at the feet of the Lord 
Chamberlain, imploring him to let him off too. " Had he 
not ridden to Spantekow, without stop or stay, at the peril of 
his life, to oblige Lord Ulrich that time the Lapland wiz;ird 
made the evil prophecy ; and though his illustrious lady died, 
yet that was from no fault of his, and his lordship had then 
promised not to forget him if he were but in need. So now 
he demanded, on the strength of his knightly word, that a 
horse should be given him from the ducal stables, and that he 
be permitted to go forth, free and scathless, to ride wherever 
it might please him. His sins were truly heavy upon him, 
and he would try and do better, with the help of God." 

When the old knight heard him express himself in this 
godly sort (for the knave knew his man well), he was melted 
to compassion, and said, " Then go thy way, and God give 
thee grace to repent of thy manifold sins." 

Her Grace had nothing to object; only to put a fixed 
barrier between the Prince and Sidonia, she added, But 
send first for Dr. Gerschovius, that he may unite this shame- 
less pair in marriage before they leave the castle, and then 
they can travel away together." 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



Hereupon Johann Ap|)elmann exclaimed, " No, never ! 
How could he hope for God's grace to amend him, living 
with a thing like that, tied to him for life, which God and 
man alike hold in abhorrence?" At this speech Sidonia 
screamed aloud, *«Thou lying and accursed stable-groom, 
darest tliou speak so of a castle and land dowered maiden ? " 
and she flew at him, and would have torn his hair, but Marcus 
Bork seized hold of her round the waist, and dragged her 
with great effort into Clara's room. 

Now the tears poured from the eyes of her Grace at such 
a disgraceful scene, and she turned to her son, who was slowly 
recovering — «*Hast thou heard, Ernest, this groom — this 
servant of thine — refuses to take the girl to wife whom thou 
wast going to make Duchess of Pomerania ? Woe ! woe ! 
what words for thy poor mother to hear ; but it was all fore- 
shadowed when Dr. Luther — " &c. &c. 

In short, the end of the infamous story was, that Sidonia 
was carried off that very night in the identical coach we know 
of, and Master Hansen was sent with her, bearing letters to 
the Duke and Otto from the Grand Chamberlain, and one 
also to the burgomaster Appelmann in Stargard ; and the 
executioner had strict orders to drive her himself the whole 
way to Stettin. As for Appelmann, he sprung upon a Fries- 
land clipper, as the old chamberlain had permitted, and rode 
away that same night. But the young lord was so ill from 
grief and shame, that he was lifted to his bed, and all the 
meJlci of Grypswald and Wolgast were summoned to attend 
him. 

And such was the end of Sidonia von Bork at the ducal 
court of Wolgast. But old Küssow told me that for a long 
while she was the whole talk of the court and town, many 
wondering, though they knew well her light behaviour, that 
she should give herself up to perdition at last for a common 
groom, no better than a menial compared to her. But I find 
the old proverb is true for her as well as for another, " The 



ij6 SIDONIA THK SOKCKRESS 

This Jacob ApjKjlmann wa» entitled to receive a great 
portion of the Jena dues, which were principally paid to 
him in kind, particularly in foreign B\nccBf which he after- 
wards sold to the Polish Jews, at the anniuil fair held in 
Stramchl. 

It hap|)ened, upon one of these occasions, as Jacob, with 
two of his porters, appeared, as uswd, carrying bags of 
spices, to sell to the i'olish Jews, that Otto met him in the 
market-place, and invited him to come up to his castle, for 
that many nobles were assembled there who would, no 
doubt, give him better prices for his gwnls than the Polish 
Jews, and added that the worthy burgomaster must drink 
his health with him that day. 

Now, Jacob Appel mann was no despiser of gmxl ch<rer 
or of broad gold ]>ieces ; so, unfortunately for himself, he 
accepted the invitation. But the knight had only lured him 
up to the castle to insult and mock him. i'*or when he 
entered the hall, a loud roar of laughter greeted his appear- 
ance, and the half-drunk guests, who were swilling the wine 
as if they had tuns to fill, and not stomachs, swore that he 
must pledge each of them separately, in a lusty draught. 
So they handed him an enormous becker, cut with Otto's 
arms, bidding him drain it ; but as the Herr Jacob hesitated, 
his host asked him, laughing, was he a Jesu disciple, that 
he refused to drink ? 

Her/rupon the other answered, he was too old for a dis- 
ciple, but he was not ashamed to call himself a servant of 
Jesus. 

Then they all roared with laughter, and Otto spoke — 
**My good lords and dear friends, ye know how that 
the Stargard knaves joined with the Pomeranian Duke to 
ravage my good town of Stramehl, so that it can be only 
called a village now. And it is also not unknown to you 
that my disgrace then passed into a proverb, so that people 
will still say, *Iie fell upon me as the Stargardians upon 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



177 



Stramehl.* Let us, then, revenge ourselves to-day. If 
this Jesu's servant will not drink, then tear open his mouth, 
put a tun-dish therein, and pour down a good draught till 
the knave cries * enough ! * As to his spices, let us scatter 
them before the Polish Jews, as pease before swine, and it 
uill be merry pastime to see how the beasts will lick them 
up. Thus will Stramehl retort upon Stargard, and the 
whole land will shout with laughter. For wherefore does 
this Stargard pedlar come here to my fairs? Mayhap I 
shall visit his.*' 

Peals of laughter and applause greeted Otto's speech ; but 
Jacob, when he heard it, determined, if possible, to eflfect his 
escape ; and watching his opportunity, for he was the only 
one there not drunk, sprang out of the hall, and down the 
riioht of steps, and being young then, never drew breath till 
he reached the market-place of Stramehl, and jumped into 
his own waggon. 

In vain Otto screamed out to " stop him, stop him ! " all 
his servants were at the four, where, indeed, the people of the 
whole country round were gathered. Then the host and the 
guests sprang up themselves, to run after Jacob Appelmann, 
but many could not stand, and others tumbled down by the 
way. However, with a chorus of cries, curses, and threats. 
Otto and some others at last reached the waggon, and laid 
hold of it. Then they dragged out the bags of spices, and 
emptied them all down upon the street, crying — 

"Come hither, ye Jews; which of you wants pepper? 
Who wants cloves ? " 

So all the Jews in the place ran together, and down they 
went on all-fours picking up the spices, while their long 
beards swept the pavement quite dean. Hey! how they 
pushed and screamed, and dealt blows about among them- 
selves, till their noses bled, and the place looked as if game- 
cocks had been fighting there, whereat Otto and his roistering 
guests roared with laughter. 

vou I. M 



178 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

One of the bags they pulled out of the waggon contained 
cinnamon ; but a huntsman of Otto J5ork's, not knowing 
what it was, poured it down likewise into the street. Cin- 
namon was then so rare, that it sold for its weight in gold. 
So an old Jew, spying the precious morsel, cried out, 
" Praise be to God I Praise be to God I " and ran through 
Otto Bork's legs to get hold of a stick of it. This nKide 
the knight look down, and seeing the cinnamon, he straight- 
way bid the huntsman gather it all up again quick, and carry 
it safely home to the castle. 

iWt the old Jew would by no means let go his hold of the 
booty, and kept the sticks in one hand high above his head, 
while with the other he dealt heavy buffets upon the hunts- 
man. An apprentice of Jacob Appelmann's beheld all this 
from the waggon, and knowing what a cosdy thing this cin- 
namon was, he made a long arm out of the waggon, and 
snapped away the sticks from the Jew. Upon this the hunts- 
man sprang at the apprentice ; but the latter, seizing a pair of 
pot-hooks, which his master had that day bought in the fair, 
dealt such a blow with them upon the head of the huntsman, 
that he fell down at once upon the ground quite dead 

Now every one cried out "Murder! murder! Jodute! 
Jodute ! Jodute ! " and they tore the bags right and left from 
the waggon, Jews as well as Christians ; but Otto commanded 
them to seize the apprentice also. So they dragged him out 
too. He was a fine young man of twenty-three, Louis Gric- 
pentroch by name. There was such an uproar, that the men 
who held the horses' heads were forced away. Whereupon 
the burgomaster resolved to seize this opportunity for escape f 
and without heeding the lamentations of the other apprentice, 
Zabel Griepentroch, who prayed him earnestly to stop and 
save his poor brother, desired the driver to lash the horses 
into a gallop, and never stop nor stay until the unlucky town 
was left far behind them. 

Otto von Bork ordered instant pursuit, but in vain. The 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 179 



burgomaster could not be overtaken, and reached Wangerin 
in safety. There he put up at the inn, to give the panting 
horses breathing-time ; and now the aforesaid Zabel besought 
him, witli many tears, to write to Otto Bork on behalf of 
his poor brother, to which the burgomaster at last consented ; 
for he loved these two youths, who were orphans and twins, 
and he had brought them up from their childhood, and 
treated them in all things like a true and loving godfather. 
So he wrote to Otto, " That if aught of ill happened to the 
young Louis Griepentroch, he (the burgomaster) would com- 
plain to his Grace of Stettin, for the youth had only done 
his duty in trying to save the property of his master from the 
hands of robbers." The good Jacob, however, admonished 
Zabel to make up his mind for the worst, for the knight was 
not a man whose heart could be melted, as he himself had 
experienced but too well that day. 

But the sorrowing youth little heeded the admonitions, 
only seized the letter, and ran with it that same evening back 
to Stramehl. Here, however, no one would listen to him, 
no one heeded him ; and when at last he got up to Otto and 
gave him the letter, the knight swore he would flay him alive 
if he did not instantly quit the town. Now the poor youth 
gnashed his teeth in rage and despair, and determined to be 
revenged on the knight. 

Just then came by a great crowd leading his brother Louis 
to tlie gallows ; and on his head they had stuck a high paper 
cap with the Stargard arms painted thereon, namely, a tower 
with two griflins (Sidonia, indeed, had painted it, and she 
was by, and clapping her hands with delight) ; and for the 
greater scandal to Stargard, they had tied two hares' tails 
to the back of the cap, with the inscription written in 
large letters above them — " So came the Stargardians to 
Stramehl ! " 

And Otto and his guests gathered round the gallows, and 
all the market-folk, with great uproar and laughter. Summay 



j8o SIDONIA the SORCKRKSS 

when the poor carl «aw all thiu, and that there was no hope 
for hin heart's dear brother^ neither could he even get near 
him just to say a last " good-night," he ran like mad to the 
castle, which was almost empty now, as every one had gone 
to the market-place and there, on the hill, he turned round 
and saw how the hangman had shoved his dear Louis from 
the ladder, and the body was swinging lamentably to and fro 
between heaven and earth. 80 he seized a brand and set 
fire to the brew-house, from which a thick smoke and light 
flameH soon rose high into the air. Now all the people rushed 
towards the castle, for they suspected well who had done the 
deed, particularly as they had observed a young fellow running, 
as if for life or death, in the opposite direction towards the open 
country. So they pursued him with wild shouts from every 
direction ; right and left they hemmed him in, and cut off his 
escape to the wood. And Otto hork sprang upon a fresh 
horse, and galloped along with them, roaring out, Seize the 
rascal I — seize the vile incendiary ! He who takes him shall 
have a tun of my best beer I" But others he despatched to 
the castle to extinguish the flames. 

Now the poor Zabel knew not what to do, for on every 
side his pursuers were gaining fast upon him, and he heard 
Otto's voice close behind crying, " There he runs ! there he 
runs ! Seize the gallows-bird, that he may swing with his 
brother this night. A tun of my best beer to the man who 
takes him ! Seize the incendiary I " So the poor wretch, 
in his anguish, threw off his smock upon the grass and sprang 
into the lake, hoping to be able to swim to the other side 
and reach the wood. 

" In after him I " roared Otto ; and a fellow jumped in 
instantly, and seizing hold of Zabel by the hose, dragged him 
along with him ; but they were soon both carried into deep 
water — Zabel, however, was the up|)ermost, and held the 
other down tight to stifle him. Another seeing this, plunged 
in to rescue his companion, and from the bank dived down 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS i8i 



underneath Zabel, intending to seize him round the body; 
but it so happened that the fishermen of Stramehl had laid 
their nets close to the place, and he plunged direct into the 
middle of the largest, and stuck there miserably ; which when 
Zabel observed, he let the other go, who was now quite dead, 
and struck out boldly for the opposite bank. The fishermen 
sprang into their boats to pursue him, and the crowd ran round, 
hoping to cut off the pass before he could gain the bank ; but 
he was a brave youth, and distanced them all, jumped on land 
before one of them could reach him, and plunged into the 
thick wood. Here it was vain to follow him, for night was 
coming on fast ; so he pursued his path in safety, and returned 
to his master at Stramehl. 

Otto von Bork, however, would not let the matter rest 
here, for he had sustained great loss by the burning of his 
brew-house (the other buildings were saved); therefore he 
wrote to the honourable council at Stargard — " That by the 
shameful and scandalous burning of his brew-house, he had 
lost two fine hounds named Stargard and Stramehl, which he 
had brought himself from Silesia ; cton, two old servants and 
a woman ; ittm^ in the lake, two other servants had been 
drowned; and all by the revenge of an apprentice, because 
he had justly caused his brother to be executed. Therefore 
this apprentice must be given up to him, that he might have 
him broken on the wheel, otherwise their vassals on the Jena 
should suffer in such a sort, that the Stargardians would long 
have reason to remember Otto Bork." 

Now, some of the honourable councillors were of opinion 
that they should by no means give up the apprentice ; first, 
because Otto had insulted the Stargard arms, and secondly, 
lest it might appear as if they feared he would fulfil his 
threats respecting the Jena. 

But Jacob Appelmann, the burgomaster, who lay sick in 
his bed from the treatment he had received at Stramehl, 
entirely disapproved of this resolution ; and when they came 



i8a ftlDONIA THK SOUCKRKSS 



U) him for hi« mJvicc, projwNcd to ^',ivc for answer to the? 
k(U);,ht that he should firNt indemnify him for the Urn of his 
coitly »piccffy which he valued at one thouNand florinsy and 
when this sum was paid down, they might treat of the matter 
concerning the apt^rentice. 

The knight, however, mocked them for making such an 
al)surd demand as compensation, and reiterated his threats, 
titat if the young man were not delivered up to him, he 
wouhJ punish St;irgard with a great {mnishment* 

The council, however, were still determined not to yield j 
and as the burgomaster lay sick in his tK*d, they released the 
apprentice from prison; and re|)lied to Otto, "That if 
he broke the public peace of his Im)>erial Majesty, let the 
consequences fall on his own hea<l — there was still justice for 
them to l)e had in Pomerania.^' 

When the burgomaster Ucurd of this, he Iwul himself 
carried in a litter, sick as he was, to the honourable council, 
and asked them, Was this justice, to rele;ise an incendiary 
from prison? If they sought justice for themselves, let 
iUt*m deal it out to others* No one had lost more by the 
transaction than he : his income for the next two years was 
clean gone, and the care and anxiety he hiui undergone, 
besides, had reduced him to this state of lK>dily weakness 
which they observed. It was a heart-grief to him to give 
up the young man, for he hmi reared him from the liaptism 
water, and Uc had been a faithful servant unto him up to 
this day. Could he save him, he would gladly give up his 
house and all he was worth, and go and take a lodging upon 
the wall ( for this young man had once saved his life, by 
slaying a mad dog which hml seized him t>y the tail of his 
coat ( tnit it was not U) l)e done. They must set an honour- 
al)lr example, as just and upright c'iüxcn» and fearless 
magistrates, who hold that old saying in honour — * Fiat 
jujtitia et pereat mundui which means, *l/et justice be 
done, tliougli life and fortune jjerish.' J5ut the punishment 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



«83 



of tlie wheel was, he confessed, altogether too severe for the 
jH>or youtli ; and therefore he counselled that they should 
liiuig him, as Otto had hung his brother.** 

This course the honourable society consented at last to 
adopt; but the knight had disgraced their arms, :md they 
ous^ht in return to disgrace his. They could get the court 
jxiirter from Stettin at the public expense, and let him 
pint Otto Bork's arms on the back of the young man's 
hose. 

Here the burgomaster again interfered — "Why should 
the honourable council attempt a stupid insult, because the 
knight had done so ? " But he talked in vain ; they were 
detomiincil on this retaliation. At last (but after a great 
deal of trouble) he obtained a promise that they would 
have the arms painted before, upon his smock, and not 
behind, ujK)n the hose, for that would be a sore disgrace 
to Otto, and bring his vengeance upon them. ** Why should 
they do moit? to him than he had done unto them ? The 
Scripture said, * Eye for eye, tooth for tooth,* and not two 
eyes for an eye, two teeth for a tooth.** Hereujwn the 
honourable council pronounced sentence on the young man, 
and fixed the third day from that for his execution. But 
iirst the executioner must bring him up before the bed of 
tlie burgomaster, who thus spoke — "Ah, Zabel, wherefore 
didst thou not behave as I admonished thee in Wangerin ? ** 
And as the young man began to weep, he gave him his 
hand, and admonished him to be steadfast in the death- 
hour, asked his forgiveness for having condemned him, 
but it was his duty as a magistrate so to do — thanked him 
for having saved his life by slaying the mad dog ; finally, 
bid him "Good-night,** and then buried his face in the 
pillow. 

So the hangman carried back the weeping youth to the 
council-hall, where the honourable councillors had the Bork 
arms fastened upon his smock, and out of further malice 



j84 SlDüNlA THE SORCEKKSS 



against Otto (for they knew the burgomagter, t>eing nick in 
his bed, could not hinder them)^ they placed over them a 
large piece of pasteboard, on which wa« written, Ho dki 
the Stargardiani with Stramehl/' //mf they fastened to 
the two corners a pair of wolf's ears, because Bork, in the 
Wendig tongue, signifies wolf. This was to revenge them- 
selves for the hares' tails* 

Then the poor apprentice was carried to the gallows, amid 
loud laughter from the common people* And even the 
honourable councillors waxed merry at the sight ( and an the 
hangman pushed him from the ladder, they cried out, So 
will the Htargardians do to Stramehl ! 

Now Otto heard tidings of all these doings, but he feared 
to complain to his Highness the Duke, because he himself 
had begun the quarrel, and they had only retorted as was 
fair* //^m, he did not dare to stop the boats upon the Jena 
— for he knew that although Duke Barnim was usually of a 
soft and placable temper, yet when he was roused there was 
no more dangerous enemy. And if the Stargardians leagued 
with him, they might fall ujx)n his town of Stramehl, as they 
had done once before* 

Therefore he waited patiently for an opportunity of revenge, 
and held his peace until Sidonia acquainted him with the 
love of the young Prince ICrnest* Then he resolved to 
demand the dues upon the Jena to be given up to him, and 
if his wicked desire had been gratified, I think the good 
citizens of Stargard might have taken to the beggar's staff for 
the rest of their days, for like all the old Hanseatic towns, 
their entire subsistence came to them by water, and all their 
wares and merchandise were carried up the Jena in boats to 
the town* These the knight would have rated so highly, if 
he had been made owner of the dues, that the town and 
people would have been utterly ruined 

It has been already stated that the Duke Barnim gave an 
ambiguous answer to Otto upon the subject ( but the knight, 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 185 



after his visit to Wolgast, was so certain of seeing his 
daughter in a short time Duchess of Pomerania, that he 
aheady looked upon the Jena dues as his own, and proceeded 
to act as shall be related in the next chapter. 



CHAPTER n. 

How Otto von Bork demands the Jena dues from the 
Stargar£ansy and bow the burgomaster Jacob Appelmann 
takes him prisoner ^ and locks him up in the Red Sea.* 

As the aforesaid knight and my gracious lord, Duke Barnim, 
journeyed home from Wolgast, the former discoursed much 
on this matter of the Jena dues, but his Grace listened in 
silence, after his manner, and nicked away at his doll. (I 
think, however, that his Grace did not quite understand the 
matter of the Jena dues himself. ) 

Summay while Otto was at Stettin, he received information 
that three vessels, laden with wine and spices, and all manner 
of merchandise, were on their way to Stargard. So he took this 
for a good sign, and went straight to the town and up to the 
burgomaster, Jacob Appelmann, would not sit down, however, 
but made himself as stiff as if his back would break, and asked 
whether he (Appelmann) was aware that the lands of the 
Bork family bordered close upon the Jena. 

IIU.—*' Yes, he knew it welL" 

Hie. — " Then he could not wonder if he now demanded 
dues from every vessel that went up to Stargard." 

lOe. — On the contrary, he would wonder greatly ; since by 
an Act passed in the reign of Duke Barnim the First, a.i>. i 243, 
the freedom of the Jena had been secured to them, and they 
had enjoyed it up to the present date.*' 

* A watch-tower, built in the Moorish style, upon the town wall of 
Stargard, firom irtiich the adjacent streets take their name. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



When the knight heard this, he felt as if stunned by a 
blow, but immediately comforted himself by thinking that no 
doubt Prince Ernest was with her, particularly as he could 
observe in the twilight the figure of a man seated beside her 
on a bundle of goods. " This surely must be the Prince," 
he said to himself, and so called out with a joyful voice, 
"Ah, my dearest daughter, Sidonia! how comest thou in 
the merchant vessel ? *' 

Then he screamed to the sailors to stop and cast anchor ; 
but they heeded neither his cries nor commands, and in place 
of stopping, began to crowd all sail. Otto now tried 
entreaties, and promised to restore all their goods, and even 
pay for the wine drunk, if they would only stop the vessel. 
This made them listen to him, but they demanded, beside, 
a compensation money of one hundred florins, for all the 
anxiety and delay they had suffered. This he promised also, 
only let them stop instantly. However, they would not trust 
his word, and not until he had pledged his knightly faith 
would they consent to stop. Some, indeed, were not even 
content with this, and required that he should stand bare- 
headed on the bank, and take a solemn oath, with his hand 
extended to heaven, that he would deal with them as he had 
promised. 

To this also the knight consented, since they would not 
believe he held his knightly word higher than any oath; 
though, in my opinion, he would have done anything they 
demanded, such was his anxiety to behold the Prince and 
Princess of Pomerania, for he could imagine nothing else, but 
that his daughter and her husband had been turned out of 
Wolgast by the harsh Duchess and the old Grand Chamber- 
lain, and were now on their way to his castle at Stramehl. 

Here my gracious Prince will no doubt say, ** But, Theo- 
dore, why did she not call on her father sooner, when, as you 
told me, he was on board this very vessel plundering the 
wares? '* 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 193 



hivS men to know what had happened. ** Was the devil him- 
self among them that accursed evening ? " 

Then they shouted in return, that he must hasten to land, 
for the Stargardians were, upon them, and had killed all their 
horses. 

Strike them dead, then ; kill all, and himself the last, but 
he would go over and help them." 

So he jumped into the boat with his companions, but had 
not time to set foot on shore, when the Stargardians, horse and 
foot, with the burgomaster at their head, dashed forth from the 
wood, shouting, So fall the Stargardians upon Stramehl ! " 

At this sight the knight could no longer restrain his im- 
patience, but jumped out of the boat ; and although the water 
reached up under his arms, strode forward, crying — 

Courage, my brave fellows ; down with the churls. Kill, 
slay, give no quarter. He who brings me the head of the 
burgomaster shall be my heir ! His vile son hath brought my 
daughter to shame. Kill all — all ! I will never outlive this 
day. Ye shall aU be my heritors— only kill ! kül! kiU!" 

Then he jumps on land and goes to draw his sword, but he 
has none — only the scabbard is hanging there; and as the 
Stargard men are already pressing thick upon them, he 
shouts — 

" A sword, a sword ! give me a sword ! My good casde 
of Stramehl for a sword, that I may slay this base-bora churl 
of a burgomaster ! " 

But a blood-hound jumped at his throat, and tore him to 
the ground, and as he felt the horrible muzzle closer to his 
face, he screamed out — 

" Save me ! save me ! Oh, woe is me ! *' 

And at the same moment, Sidonia's voice was heard from 
the vessel, shrieking — 

"Father, ^ther, save me! this groom is beating me to 
death — he is killing me ! " while a loud roar of laughter from 
the crew accompanied her cries. 

VOL. I. N 



filDONIA THE SORCRRK^<^ 



N^> or.*, however, c^sve tc^ »ve the kr/i^ht ; foe the Scar- 
gardidn« were alaymg right atA ieft, and Osa'« ftvilotrcrt w«re 
utterly dwcomf.te^J. So the kr.i;^t tried to drxw hi» duf^gtr^ 
and having goe hold of it, planged it with great force into the 
heart of the ferocioi;« animal, who fe]l back dead, and Otto 
sprang to hiit feet. Just then, however, a tanner recognued 
him, and seizing hold of him by the arms, carried him c4( to 
the other prisoners. 

Now, indeed, might he call on the mountains to fall on him, 
and the hills to cover him (Ho^a x.) ; and now he might 
fee], too, what a terrible thing it is to fall into the hand« of 
the living God (Hebrews x.) ; for the .Ie«u wounds, I'm 
thinking, burned then like heli-fire in his heart. 

Summa f as the wretched man was brought before the 
burgomaster, who sat down upon a bank and wiped his sword 
in the grass, the latter cried out — 

''Well, sir knight, you would not heed me; you have 
worked your will. Now, do you understand what retaliation 
means — * An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth * ? " 

And as the other stood quite silent, he continued — 

•* Where is your charter for the Jena dues ? Perchance it 
is contained in this letter, which I have received to-day from 
her Grace of Wolgast, addressed to you. Hand a lantern 
here, that the knight may read it I I f the charter is not therein, 
then he shall be flung into prison this night with his followers, 
until my lord, Duke Barnim, pronounces judgment u]>on him/' 

The ferryman advanced and held a light; Init Otto had 
scarcely looked over the letter when he began to tremble as 
if he would fall to the ground, and then sighed forth, like 
the rich man in hell — 

«• Have mercy on mc, and give me a drink of water I " 

They brought him the water, and then he added — 

" Jacob, hast thou, too, had any tidings of our children ? 

" Alas I " the other answered ; " Ulrich has written all 
to mc." 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



195 



" Then hin-e mercy on me. Listen how your godless son 
there in the vessel is beating my daughter to death, and how 
she is shrieking for help." 

As the burgomaster heard these unexpected tidings, he sent 
messengers to tlie vessel, with orders to bring the pair im- 
mediately before him. 

Meanwhile the other prisoners besought the burgomaster 
to let them go, for they were feudal vassals of Otto Bork, and 
must do as he commanded them. Besides, he told them that 
Duke Barnim had given him the dues, and therefore they 
held it their duty to assist him in collecting them. 

And as Otto confirmed their words, saying that he had 
indeed deceived them, the burgomaster turned to his party, 
and cried — 

" How say you then, worthy burghers and dear friends, 
shall we let the vassals run, and keep the lord ? for, if the 
master lies, ;u*e the servants to be punished if they believe 
him ? Speak, worthy friends." 

Then Jill the burghers cried — 
Let them go, let them go ; but keep the knight a 
prisoner." 

Upon which all the retainers took to their heels, not for- 
getting, though, to hoist the cask of wine upon their shoulders, 
and so they fled away into the wood. 

Now comes a great crowd from all the vessels, accompany- 
ing the infamous pair, mocking, and gibing, and laughing at 
them, so that no one can hear a word for the tumult. But 
tlic burgomaster bids them hold their peace, and let the guilty 
pair be placed before him. 

He remained a long while silent, gazipg at them both, then 
sighing deeply, addressed his son— 

Oh, thou lost son, hast thou not yet given up thy dissolute 
courses ? What is this I hear of thee in Wolgast ? Now thou 
must needs humble this noble maiden, and bring dishonour on 
her house — flinging all thy father's admonitions to the wind — " 



kX) SIDONIA the S0RCERK8S 

Here the son interrupted — 
True ; but thii noble maiden had thrown herself in his 
way^ like a common girl, and he was only flesh and blood 
like other men. Why did she follow him so ? " 

Whereupon the father replied — 

**Ohf thou shameless child, who, like the prodigal in 
Scripture, hast destroyed thy substance with harlots and 
riotous living, in place of humbleness and repentance, dost 
thou impudently tell of this poor young maiden's shame 
before all the world ? Oh, son I oh, son ! even the blind 
heathen said, * J^go ilium peruae putOf cut quidem peritt 
pudor * * — which means, * I esteem him dead in whom shame 
is dead/ Therefore is thy sin doubled, being a Christian, 
for thou hast boasted of thy shame before the people here, 
and held up the young maiden to their contempt, besides 
having t)eaten her so on board the vessel that many heard her 
screams, as if she were only a common wench, and not a 
castle and land dowered maiden/' 

To which Appclmann answered, that she had called him 
a common groom and a base-bom burgher churL But his 
father commanded him to be silent, and bid his men first bind 
the knight's hands behind his back, and then those of his son, 
and so carry them both to prison ; but to let the maiden go free* 

When the knight heard that he was to be bound, his pride 
revolted, and he offered any ransom, or to give any compen- 
sation that could be demanded for the injury he had done 
them. ICvery one knew his wealth, and that he had power 
to keep his word to the uttermost. But the burgomaster 
made answer, " ICye for eye, and tooth for tooth ; how say 
you, sir knight — speak the truth, if you had taken me 
prisoner, as I have taken you, would you have bound my 
hands or not?" To which the knight replied, "Well, 
Jacob, I will not speak a falsehood, for I feel that my end 
is near f—* I would have bound your hands." 

* riautus in Daccbid 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 197 



Hereupon the brave burgomaster answered, " I know it 
well ; however, as you have answered me honestly, I will 
spare you. Burghers, do not bind his hands, neither those of 
my son. Ye have enough to suffer yet before ye, and God 
give you both grace to repent. And now to the town ! 
The crew shall declare to-morrow morn, before the honour- 
able council, what they have lost by the knight's means ; and 
he shall make it all good again to them." 

So all the people returned with great uproar and rejoicing 
back to the town, and the bell from St. Mary's and St. John's 
rung forth merry peals, and all the people of the town ran 
forth to meet them ; but when they saw the knight a prisoner, 
and his empty scabbard hanging by his side, they clapped 
their hands and huzzaed, shouting, So fell the Stargardians 
upon Stramehl." Thus with merry laughter, and jests, and 
moc kings, they carried him up the street to the tower called 
the Red Sea, and there locked him up, well guarded. 

Here again he prayed the burgomaster to accept a ransom, 
but in vain. Whereupon he at last solicited pen, paper, and 
ink, and a light, that he might indite a letter to his Grace, 
Duke Barnim ; and this was granted to him. 

As for his unworthy son, the burgomaster had him carried 
to his own house, and there placed him in a room, with three 
stout burghers as a guard over him. And Sidonia was placed 
by herself in another little chamber. 



CHAPTER HI. 

0/ Otto Bori's dreadful smcide — Item^ how Sidonia and Johann 
jlppdwumn were brought before the burgomaster. 

During that night there was a strong suspicion upon every 
one's mind that something terrible was going to happen ; 
tor a great storm arose at midnight, and raged fearfully 



ipS SIDONIA THE SORCKRESS 

round the Red Sea tower, so that it seemed to rock, and 
when the night-watch went round to examine it, behold 
three toads crept out, and set themselves upright upon the 
parapet like little manikins, as the hares sometimes make 
themselves into manikins. 

What all this denoted was discovered next morning, for 
when the jailer entered Otto's cell in the tower, he saw him 
lying on the floor in a pool of blood, with his own dagger 
sticking in his heart. On the table stood the lamp which 
he had asked for, still burning feebly, and near it a great 
many written papers. 

The man instantly ran for the burgomaster, who followed 
him with all speed to the tower. They felt the corpse, but 
it was already quite cold. So then a messenger was de- 
spatched for the chirurgeon, to hold ä vhum repertum over 
him. 

Meantime they examined the papers, and found first my 
gracious Lady of Wolgast's letter to the unfortunate father — 
the same which had made him tremble so the day before — 
and therein was related all the shameful circumstances con- 
cerning Sidonia, just as Ulrich had stated them in the letter 
to the burgomaster. Then they came upon his last will and 
testament ; but where the seal ought to have been, there lay 
a large drop of blood, with this memorandum beneath it: 
*This is my heart's first blood which I have affixed here, 
in place of a seal, and may he who slights it be accursed for 
evermore, even as my daughter Sidonia." 

In this testament he had completely disinherited his 
daughter Sidonia, and made his son Otto sole inheritor of 
all his property, castles, and lands (for his daughter Clara 
was already dead, and had left no children). Nothing 
should his daughter Sidonia have but two farm-houses in 
Zachow,^ just to keep her from beggary, and to save the 

* A tnuiU town near Stramehl, a mile and a half from Regen- 
walde. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



ancient, illustrious name of their house from falling into 
further contempt* Yet should his son think proper to give 
her further alimentum^ he was at liberty so to do. Lastly, 
for the second and third time, he cursed his daughter, to 
whom he owed all his misery, from the affair with the 
apprentice to that concerning the Jena dues, up to this his 
most miserable and wretched death, //rm, the burgomaster 
picked up another letter, which was addressed to himself, and 
wherein the knight prayed, first, that his body might not be 
drawn by the executioner to burial, as was the custom with 
suicides, but conveyed honourably to Stramehl, and there 
deposited in the vault of his family; secondly, that his 
daughter Sidonia might be sent to Zachow, there to learn 
how to live humbly as a peasant maid — for that she might 
look to being a Duchess of Pomerania, only when she could 
keep her evil desires still for even a couple of days. 

Then he cursed her so that it was pitiable to read; and 
proved that, if he had been a more God-fearing father, she 
might have been a different daughter; for as St. Paul says 
(Galatians vi.), <<What a man soweth, that shall he also 
reap.** The letter further said, that, for the good deed done 
to his corpse, the burgomaster should take all the gold found 
upon his person, consisting of eighty good rose-nobles, and 
indemnify himself therewith for the loss of his spices that 
day in Stramehl when they were scattered before the Jews. 
He lastly desired his last will and testament to be conveyed 
to his son, along with his corpse ; and further, his son was 
to send compensation to the crew for the cask of wine and 
whatever other losses they had sustained, according to his 
knightly word which he had pledged to them. 

Sumnutf when the chirurgeon arrived and the body was 
examined, there was found upon the unfortunate knight a purse, 
embroidered with pearls and diamonds, containing eighty rose- 
nobles, which the burgomaster in no wise disdained to receive, 
and then laid the whole matter before the honourable coun<;il, 



SIDONIA THK SORCERESS 



with the petition of Otto concerning the corpic. The hon- 
ourable council fully juitified the burgonrniter for all he had 
done, and gave their opinion, that uu the good town had no 
jurindiction over the knight, «o they could have none over hi« 
body, and therefore let it be removed with all honour to 
Htramehl, particularly an he had in all thingn made amend* 
for the wrong he had done them. At regarded Sidonia, two 
porter» »hould be ient to convey her to Zachow. 

Meantime Sidonia had heard of her father'i horrible death, 
and lay on the ground nearly in«eni»ible from grief. Juiit then 
the burgomaiter returned from the council-hall, and com- 
manded that ihe and hii profligate »on should be brought 
Ixffore him. When they arrived, he anked how it happened 
th;it they were both found in the vciwcl, for Ulrich, the Grand 
Chamberlain, had written to inform him that Sidonia had 
\ycen uent away in a coach to Stettin, with the executioner 
on the box. 

Here Sidonia fobbed »o violently that no word could «he 
utter J therefore the »on replied, " That «uch had been done, 
but that he had been given a horiie from the ducal »table», and 
had followed the coach ; and when they »topped at Ucker- 
mund for the night, he had »ecretly got »{)eech with Sidonia, 
and a<lvi«ed her to try and remove the plank» from the bottom 
of the carriage and escape to him, for that he would be quite 
clo»e at hand. And he did what he could that night to loofen 
the board» himself. So in the morning Sidonia got them up 
e;t»ily, and firNt dropped her baggage out through the hole, 
which he yickcd up ; and then, as they came to a soft, sandy 
tract wht^e the coach ha<l to go very slowly, she let herself 
also down through it, and sinking in the deep sand, let the 
coach go over her without any hurt. Then he came to her, 
and they fled to the next town, where he bought a waggon 
from some )>ea»ant», for her and her luggage to proceed into 
Stargard, for »he wa» a»hamed to appear before Duke Barnim, 
and wished to get on from Stargard to Stramehl $ but when 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS aoi 

they reached Damm» they heard such wild tales of the robbers 
and partisans who infested the roads, that Sidonia grew 
alarmed, and made him go by water for safety. So he left 
the horse and waggon at the inn, and took ship with the 
merchants who were going to Stargard. These were their 
adventures. The rest his ^ther knew as well as himself. 

The burgomaster then asked Sidonia had he spoken truth. 
So she dried her eyes, and nodded her head for " Yes." 

Then he admonished her gravdy, for that she, a noble 
maiden, could have dishonoured herself with a mere burgher's 
son, like his Johann, in whom even he, his own ^ther, must 
say, there was nothing to tempt any girL And now she knew 
the truth of those words of St. James : ** Lust, when it hath 
conceived, bringeth forth sin ; and sin, when it is finished, 
bringeth forth death." 

Her sin had, indeed, brought forth her father's death ; — 
would that he could say only his ten^oral death. This her 
father had himself asserted in his testament, which he held 
now in his hands, and for this cause had left all his goods, 
lands, and castles to her brother Otto— only giving her two 
farm-houses in Zachow to save her from the beggar's staff, 
and their noble name from ^ing into yet greater contempt 
— and, in addition, he had cursed her with terrible curses ; 
but these might be yet turned away, if she would incline her 
heart to God, and lead a pious, honest life for the rest of her 
days. And much more the worthy man preached to her ; 
but she interrupted him, having found her tongue at last, and 
exclaimed in wrath, What ! has the good-for-nothing old 
churl written this ? Let me see it ; it cannot be true." 

So the burgomaster reached her the paper, and, as she read, 
her colour changed, and at last she shrieked aloud and fell 
down before the burgomaster, clasping his knees, and praying 
by the Jesu cross not to send such a testament to her brother, 
for that he was still harder than her father, because he was by 
nature avaricious, and would grudge her even salt with her 



202 SIDONIA THE SOKCKRESS 

bread. Let him remember that hin non had promUed her 
marriage, and would he destroy his own children ? 

Then Jacob Api)elmann turned to hin profligate son, and 
aiked, Does she ipeak the truth ? Have you promised 
her marriage ? " 

But the shameless knave answered, True, I lo promised 
her, when we were at Uckermund ; but now that she has no 
money, I wash my hands of her." 

Huch villainy made the old man flame with indignation. 

He would make him know that he must stand by his word 
— he would force him to it, if he could only think it would 
be for the advantage of this wretched girl. But he would 
admonish her to give him up ; did she not see that he waf 
shameless, cruel, and selfish ? and how could she ever hope 
to turn to God and lead a new life with such an infamous 
partner? //m, his son should be made to work, and to 
feel poverty, so that his evil desires miht be stifled ; and as 
for her, let her go in God's name to Zachow, and there 
in solitude repent her sins, and strive to win the favour of 
God." 

But that wa« no water for her mill ; so she continued to 
kment, and weep, and pray the buFgomaster not to tend the 
will to her harsh brother ; upon which he answered mildlyt 
** Wert thou to lie at my feet till morning, it would not help 
thee : the testament goes this day to Stramehl ; but I will do 
this for thee. Thy father left me some rose-nobles, in a 
purse which he carried about with him, as a compensation for 
my spices, which he strewed before the Jews in Stramehl, of 
which deed thou, too, wert also guilty, as I know ; therefore 
I was not ashamed to tike the money. But of the purse thy 
father said naught ; so I had it in my mind to keep it— for^ 
in truth, it is of more worth than the nobles it contained. If 
I mistake not, these are true |)earls and diamonds with which 
it is broidered. Look, here it is. What sayest thou { " 

Here she sobbed, and answered, She knew it well ; she 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



had broidered the purse herself. They were her mother's 
pctirls and diamonds, and part of her bridal gear ; truly they 
were worth three thousand florins." 

" Then," said the brave old man, " I will give thee this 
purse, since it was not named either for me or for thy brother 
at Stramehl. Take it to Zachow ; thou wilt make a good 
penny of it. Be pious, and God-fearing, and industrious, re- 
membering what the Holy Scripture says (Prov. xxxi.) : 
< A virtuous woman takes wool and flax, and labours dili- 
gently with her hands. She stretches out her hands to the 
wheel, and her fingers grasp the spindle.' Hadst thou learned 
this, in place of thy costly broidery, methinks it would have 
been better with thee this day." 

As he thus spoke, he put the purse in her hands, and she 
instantly hid it in her pocket. But the profligate Johann now 
suddenly became repentant, for he thought, if I can obtain 
nothing good from my father, I may at least get the purse. 
So he began to weep and lament, and fell down, too, at his 
father's feet, saying, if he would only pardon him this once, 
he would indeed take this poor maiden to wife, as he had 
promised her, for he alone was guilty of her sin ; only would 
his heart's dearest father forgive him ? And so the hypocrite 
went on with his lies. 

Whereupon his father made answer honourably and mildly — 
" Such promises thou hast often made, but never kept. How- 
ever, I will try thee yet again. If thou wilt spend each day 
diligently writing in the council-office, and return each night 
to sleep in my chamber, and continue this good conduct for a 
few years, to testify thy repentance, as a brave and upright son, 
and Sidonia meanwhile continues to lead a godly and humble 
life at Zachow, then, in God's name, ye shall both marry, 
and make amends for your sin ; but not before that." 

As he said this, and bid his son stand up, the hypocrite 
answered, yes, he would do the will of his dear father ; but 
then he must keep back this testament ; so would his children 



SIDONIA THK SORCERESS 



be happy. Otherwise, wherefore should they marry ? — wbit 
could they live on i A couple of cabins in Zachow would 
not Ix* enough. 

" Truly," replied the old man, « if I were as great a knave 
as thou art, I would do as thou hast said ; yet, though the 
loss of the spices, which her father wickedly destroyed, did 
me such injury that I had to sell my house, to get the means 
of living and keeping thee at the University of Grypswald, I 
will keq) my hands pure from the property of another, even 
if this property belonged to my greatest enemy, and the enemy 
of this good town also. Summaf this day thou shalt go to 
the council-office, the testament to Stramehl, and Sidonia to 
Zachow." 

So the knave was silent: but Sidonia still resisted; she 
would not go to Zachow — never ; but if he would send her 
to Stettin, she was certain the good Duke Barnim would be 
kind to an unfortunate maiden, who had done nothing more 
than what thousands do in secret. And whatever the gra- 
cious I'rince resolved concerning her, she would abide by. 

When the burgomaster heard this speech, he saw that no 
amendment was to be expected from her ; and as he had no 
authority to compel her to Zachow, he promised, at last, to 
send her to Stettin on the following day, for there were two 
market waggons going, and she could travel in one, and thereby 
be more secure against all danger. And so it was done. 



CHAl^THR IV. 

How S'ulonta meets Claude Uckermann agatn^ and lol'tcUi him 
to wed her — Item^ what he answered^ and how my 
grac'wui Lord of Stettin received her^ 

Siix)NiA, next morning, got a good soft seat in the waggon, 
upon the s^ick of a cloth merchant ; he was cousin to the 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 205 



burgomaster, and promised to take her with him, out of 
friendship for him. All the men in the waggon were armed 
with spears and muskets, for fear of the robbers, who were 
growing more daring every day. 

So they proceeded; but had not got far from the town 
when a horseman galloped furiously after them, and called 
out that he would accompany them; and this was Claude 
Uckermann, of whom I have spoken so much in my former 
book. He, too, was going to Stettin. Now when Sidonia 
saw him, her eyes glistened like a cat's when she sees a 
mouse, and she rejoiced at the prospect of such good com- 
pany, for since the wedding of her sister, never had this 
handsome youth come across her, though she was constantly 
looking out for him. So as he rode up by the waggon, she 
greeted him, and prayed him to alight and come and sit by 
her upon the sack, that they might talk together of dear old 
times. 

She imagined, no doubt, that he knew nothing of all that 
had happened ; but her disgrace was as public at Stargard 
as if it had been pealed from the great bell of St. Mary's. 
He therefore knew her whole story, and answered, that 
sitting by her was disagreeable to him now ; and he rode on. 
This was plain enough, one would think ; but Sidonia still 
held by her delusion ; for as they reached the first inn, and 
stopped to feed the horses, she saw him stepping aside to 
avoid her, and seating himself at some distance on a bank. 
80 she j>ut on her flattering face, and advanced to him, 
saying, "Would not the dear young knight make up with 
her ? — what ailed him ? — it was impossible he could resent 
her silly fun at her sister's wedding. Oh ! if he had come 
again and asked her seriously to be his wife, in place of 
there in the middle of the dancing, as if he had been only 
jesting, she would never have had another husband, for from 
that till now, never had so handsome a knight met her eyes ; 
but she was still free." 



2o6 SIDONIA THK SOKCKKKSS 



Hereupon the young man (an he told me him«elf) made 
answer — " Yen, »he hiui rightly judged, he wa» only jesting, 
and taking his pastime with her, as they sat there upon the 
carpet, for he held in unspeakable aversion and disgust a cup 
from which every one sipped." 

Still »Sidonia would not comprehend him, and began to 
talk about Wolgast. But he looked down straight before 
him in the grass, and never spake a word, but turned on hit 
heel, and entered the inn, to oee after his horse. So he got 
rid of her at last. 

As the waggon set off again, she began to ling lo merrily 
and loudly, that all the wood rang with it. And the young 
knight was not so stu])id but that he truly discerned her 
meaning, which was to show him that she cared little for 
his words, since she could go away in such high spirits. 

Summfit when they reached the inn at Stettin, Sidonia 
got all her baggage carried in from the waggon, and there 
dressed herself with all her finery : silken robes, golden hair- 
net, and golden chains, rings, and jewels, that all the people 
salut(;d her when she came forth, and went to the castle to 
ask for his Highness the Duke. He was in his workshop^ 
and hiid just finished turning a spinning-wheel ; he laughed 
aloud when she enti*red, ran to her, embraced her, and cried, 
"What! my treasure! — where hast thou been so long, my 
sugar-morsel i How I laughed when Master Hansen, whom 
my old, silly, sour cousin of Wolgast sent with thee, came in 
lately into my workshop, and told me he had brought thee 
hither in a ducal coach I I ran directly to the court- 
yard ) Imt when the knave opened the door, my little thrush 
liad flown. Where hast thou been so long, my sugar- 
morsel ? " 

As his Grace put all these questions, he continued kissing 
her, so that his long white beard got entmgled in her golden 
chains ; and as she jmshrd him away, a Ininch of hair remained 
sticking to her brooch, so that he screamed for pain, and put 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 207 



his hand to his chin. At this, in rushed the court marshal 
and the treasurer (who were writing in the next chamber) as 
white as corpses, and asked, «* Who is murdering his Grace ? *' 
but his Grace held up his hand over his bleeding mouth, and 
winked to them to go away. So when they saw that it was 
only a maiden combat, they went their way laughing. 

Hereupon speaks his Grace — "See now, treasure, what 
thou hast done ! Thou canst be so kind to a groom, yet thy 
own gracious Prince will treat so harshly ! " 

But Sidonia began to weep bitterly. " What did he think 
of her ? The whole story was an invention by his old sour 
cousin of Wolgast to ruin her because she would not learn 
her catechism (and then she told the same tale as to her 
father) ; but would not his Grace take pity on a poor for- 
saken maiden, seeing that Prince Ernest could not deny he 
had promised to make her his bride, and wed her privately 
at Crummyn, on the very next night to that on which her 
Grace had so shamefully outraged her ? " 

" My sweet treasure ! *' answered the Duke, " the young 
Prince was only making a fool of you ; therefore be content 
that things are no worse. For even if he had wedded you 
privately, it would have been all in vain, seeing that neither 
the princely widow nor the Elector of Brandenburg, his 
godfather, nor any of the princes of the holy Roman Empire, 
nor lastly, the Pomeranian States, would ever have permitted 
so unequal a marriage. Therefore, what the priest joined in 
Crummyn would have been put asunder next day by the 
tribunals. My poor nephew is a silly enthusiast not to have 
perceived this all along, before he put such absurdities in your 
head. That he talked gallantry to you was very natural, and 
I wished him all success ; but that he should ever have talked 
of marriage shows him to be even sillier than I expected from 
his years." 

Here Sidonia's tears burst forth anew. "Who would 
care for her now that her £ither was dead, and had left 



2o8 8IDONIA THE SORCERESS 



her pennileti? All because he believed that old hypocrite 
of Wolgast more than hii own daughter. Alas ! alas ! she 
was a poor orphan now 1 and all her possessions would be 
torn from her by her hard-hearted» avaricious brother. Yet 
surely his Grace might at least take pity on her innocence/' 

His Grace wondered much when he heard of Otto's 
death, for the letters brought by the market waggon from 
the honourable council, acquainting him with the matter, had 
not yet arrived, and he scratched behind his ear, and said, 
It was an evil deed of that proud devil her father, to 
claim the Jena dues. He had got his answer at Wol- 
gast, and ought to have left the dues alone. What right 
had he to break the peace of the land, to gratify his lust and 
greed? It was well that he was dead; but as concerning 
his testament, that must not be interfered with, he had no 
power over the property of individuals. ICach one might 
leave his goods as best pleased him ; yet he would make his 
treasurer write a letter in her favour to her brother Otto: 
that was all that he could do.'' 

This threw Sidonia into despair $ she fell at his feet, 
and told him, that let what would l)ecomc of her, she 
would never go a step to Zachow, and her harsh brother 
would never give her one groschen, unless he were forced 
to it. His Grace ought to remember that it was by his 
advice she had gone to Wolgast, where all her misery had 
commenced ; for by the traitorous conduct of the widow, 
there she had been robbed, not only of her good name, but 
also of her fortune. So his Grace comforted her, and 
siiid that as long as he lived she would want for nothing. 
He had a pretty house behind St. Mary's, and six young 
maidens lived there, who had nothing to do but spin and 
embroider, or comb out the beautiful herons' feathers as 
the birds moulted ; for he had a large st^)ck of herons 
close to the house; and there was a darling little chamber 
there, which she could have immediately for herself. As 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



to clothes, they might all get the handsomest they pleased, 
and their meals were supplied from the ducal kitchen. 

As his Grace ended, and lifted up Sidonia and kissed 
her, she wept and sighed more than ever. «« Could he 
think this of her ? No ; she would never enter the house 
which was the talk of all Pomerania. If she consented, 
then, indeed, would the world believe all the falsehoods that 
were told of her— of her, who was as innocent as a child ! " 
Hereupon his Grace answered stiff and stem (yet this was 
not his wont, for he was a right tender master), "Then 
go your ways. Into that house or nowhere else.'* (Alas ! 
let every maiden take warning, by this example, to guard 
against the first false step. Amen, chaste Jesus ! Amen. ) 

That evening Sidonia took up her abode in the house. 
But that same evening there was a great scandahtm^ and tear- 
ing of each other's hair among the girls. For one of them, 
named Trina Wehlers, was a baker's daughter from Stra- 
mehl, and on the occasion of Clara's wedding she had 
headed a procession of young peasants to join the bridal 
party, but Sidonia had haughtily pushed her back, and forbid 
them to approach. This Trina was a fine rosy wench, 
and my Lord Duke took a fancy to her then, so that she 
looked with great jealousy on any one that threatened to 
rob her of his Bivour. Now when Sidonia entered the 
house and saw the baker's daughter, she commenced again 
to play the part of the great lady, but the other only laughed, 
and mockingly asked her, ** Where was the princely spouse, 
Duke Ernest of Wolgast? Would his Highness come to 
meet her there ? " 

Then Sidonia raged from shame and despair, that this 
peasant girl should dare to insult her, and she ran weeping 
to her chamber ; but when supper was served, the scanMum 
broke out in earnest. For Sidonia had now grown a little 
comforted, and as there were many dainty dishes from the 
Duke's table sent to them, she began to enjoy herself 

vou I. o 



210 SIDONIA TIIK SORCERESS 

ffomcwhat, when all of a sudden the bakcr'i» daughter gave 
her a smart blow over the finger« with a fork. Sidonia 
instantly seized her by the hair ; and now there was such 
an uproar of blows, screiims, and tongues, that my graciou« 
lord, the Duke, was sent for. Whereupon he scolded the 
baker's daughter right seriously for her insolence, and told 
her that as Sidonia was the only noble maiden amongst 
them, she was to bear rule. And if the others did not 
obey her humbly, as befitted her rank, they should all be 
whipped. His Grace wore a patch of black plaister on 
his chin, and attempted to kiss Sidonia again, but she 
pushed him away, saying that he must have told all that 
happened at Wolgast to these girls, otherwise how could 
the baker's daughter liavc mocked her about it. 

Whereu|)on my gracious lord consoled her, and said that 
if she were cjuiet and well-behaved, he would take her with 
him to the Diet at Wollin, for all the young dukes of Pomc- 
rania were to attend it, and Prince Ivrnest amongst the 
number, seeing that he had summoned them all there, in 
order to give up the government of the land into their 
hands, as he was too old now himself to be tormented with 
state affairs. 

When Sidonia heard this, ho])e sprang up within her 
heart, and she resolved to bear her destiny calmly. 



CHA^'IiR V. 

J/otu they went on meantime at Wolgast — //rm, of the Diet at 
Wollin^ and what happened there. 

With regard to their Serene Highnesses of Wolgast, I have 
already related, lihro primo, that the young lord, Ivrnest Lu- 
dovicus, was carried out of Sidonia's chamber like one dead, 
when he beheld her abominable wickedness with his own cyct 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



And all can easily believe that he lay for a long while 
sick unto death. In vain Dr. Pomius oflfered his celebrated 
specific ; he would take nothing, did nothing day or night 
but sigh and groan — 

" Ah, Sidonia ; ah, my beloved heart's bride, Sidonia, 
can it be possible? Adored Sidonia, my heart is breaking. 
Sidonia, Sidonia, can it be possible ? " 

At last the idea struck Dr. Pomius that there must be 
magic and devil's work in it. So he searched through all 
his learned books, and finally came upon a recipe which 
was infallible in such cases. This was to bum the tooth of 
a dead man to powder, and let the sick bewitched person 
smoke the ashes. Such was solenmly recommended by 
Petrus Hispanus Ulyxbonensis, who, under the name of 
John XXII., ascended the papal throne. See his Thesaurus 
Pauperum^ cap. ult. 

But the Prince would neither take anything nor smoke 
anything, and the ddtrmm amatorium grew more violent and 
alarming day by day, so that the whole ducal house was 
plunged into the deepest grief and despair. 

Now there was a prisoner in the bastion tower at Wolgast, 
a carl from Katzow, who had been arrested and condemned 
for practising horrible sorceries and magic — namely, having 
changed the calves of his neighbours into young hares, which 
instinctively started off to the woods, and were never seen 
more, as the whole town testified ; and other devil's doings 
he had practised, which I now forget ; but they were fully 
proved against him, and so he was sentenced to be burned. 

This man now sent a message to the authorities, that 
if they pardoned him and allowed him free passage from the 
town, he would tell of something to cure the young lord. 
This was agreed to; and when he was brought to the 
chamber of the Prince, he kid his ear down upon his breast, 
to listen if it were witchcraft that ailed him. Then he 
spake — 



212 SIDONIA TlIK SOKCKKKSS 

" YvH ; tlir h<*art l)cat» quite iinn;iturally, ihr Houml wa« 
like the? whimpcrring of a fly caught in a »\iu\cr*H web ; their 
lonUhipH miglit li»tcn for thrmiiclveii/' 

Whereupon all present, one after the other, laid their car 
upon the breant of the young Prince, and heard really m he 
had deHcnl)ed. 

TUv (Ml 1 now fiaid that he would give his Highncfis a potion 
which would make him, from that hrmr, hate the woman who 
had bewitched him a« much a» he had adored her. ///rw, 
the young lord must sleqi for three days, and when he woke, 
his strength would have returned to him { to procure thi« 
sleq), he must amrint his temples with goat's milk, which they 
must insUintly bring him, and during his sleep the I^ady 
Duchess must, every two hours, lay fresh ox-flesh u))on hit 
stomach. 

When her (»race hefird this, she rejoiced that her dear 
son wotdd so soon hold the harlot in al)horrence who had 
Inrwitched him. And the carl gave him a red syrup, which 
he had no sooner swallowed than all care for Sidonia seemed 
to have vanished from his mind. I'iven Ix'fore the goat's 
milk came, he exclaimed — 

** Now that I think over it, what a great blessing that we 
have got rid of Sidonia." 

Ami no sooner were his temph'S liathed with the milk 
than he fell into a deep sleep, which lasted for three days, 
and when he opened his eyes, his first words were— 

"Where is that Sidonia? Is the wanton still here? 
Bring her before me, that I may tell her how I hate her. 
Oh, fool that 1 was, to jjeril my princely honour for a harlot. 
Where is she? I must have my revenge uj^on the light 
wanton." 

Her Grace could hardly s[x*ak for joy when she heard 
these words; and she gave the carl, who had watched all 
the time by the Ixxlside of the young Prince, so much ham 
and sausages from the ducal kitchen, thiit he finally could 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 213 



not walk, but was obliged to be drawn out of the town in a 
car. Then she asked Dr. Pomius how such a miracle could 
have been effected. At which he laid his finger on his 
nose, after his manner, and replied, such was accomplished 
through the introduction of the natural Life Balsam, which the 
learned called confermentationem MumU^ and so the fool went 
on prating, and her Grace devouring his words as if they were 
gospel. 

Summa. — ^After a few days the young lord was able to 
leave his bed, and as they kept fresh ox-flesh continually ap- 
plied to his stomach, he soon regained his strength, so that, 
in a couple of weeks, he could ride, fish, and hunt, and his 
cheeks were as fresh and rosy as ever. One day he mentioned 
" the groom's mistress," as he called her, and wished he could 
give her a lesson in lute-playing, it would be one to make her 
tremble. But when the letter arrived from Duke Barnim, 
declaring that, from his great age, he proposed resigning the 
government of Pomerania into the hands of her Grace's sons, 
there was no end to the rejoicings at Wolgast, and her Grace 
declared that she would herself accompany them to the Diet 
at Wollin. 

We shall now see what a treat was waiting her at the old 
castle there. It was built wholly of wood, and has long 
since fallen ; but at the time I write of, it was standing in all 
its glory. 

Monday, the 1 5th May 1 569, at eleven in the forenoon, 
his Grace of Stettin came with seven coaches and two 
hundred and fourteen horsemen into the courtyard. And 
there, on the steps of the castle, stood my gracious Lady of 
Wolgast, holding the little Casimir by the hand, in waiting to 
receive his Highness, and all her other sons stood round her 
— namely, the illustrious Bishop of Camyn, Johann Frederick, 
in his bishop's robes, with the staff and mitre, ///w, Duke 
Bogislaus, who had presented her Grace with a tame sea-gull, 
//rm, Ernest Ludovicus, in a Spanish mantle of black velvet, 



214 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

embossed in gold, and upon his head a black velvet Spanish 
hat, looped up with diamonds, from which long white plumes 
descended to his shoulder, //rm, Barnim the younger, who 
wore a dress similar to his brother's. //rm, the Grand 
Chamberlain, Ulrich von Schwerin, and with him a great 
crowd of the counsellors and state officers of Wolgast, besides 
all the nobles, prelates, knights, and chief burghers of the 
duchy. Among the nobles stood Otto von Bork, brother to 
Sidonia; and the burgomaster, Jacob Appelmann, held his 
place among the citizens. 

As Duke Barnim drove up to the castle, the guards fired 
a salute, and the bells rang, and the cannon roared, and all 
the vessels in the harbour hoisted their flags, while the streets, 
houses, and courtyards were decorated with flowers, and all 
the people of the little town trotted round the carriaget 
shouting, " Vivat ! vivat ! vivat ! " so that the like was 
never seen before in Wollin. 

Now, when the coach stopped, her Grace the Duchess 
advanced to meet his Highness ; and as old Duke Barnim's 
head appeared at the window, with his long white beard and 
yellow leather cap, her Grace stepped forward, and said — 

" Welcome, dearest Un " 

But she could get no &rther, and stood as stiff as Lot's 
wife when she was turned into a pillar of salt, for there was 
Sidonia seated in the carriage beside the Duke! Old 
Ulrich, who followed, soon spied the cause of her Grace's 
dismay, and exclaimed — 

Three thousand devils, what does your Highness mean 
by bringing the accursed harlot a third time amongst 
us?" 

But his Highness only laughed, and drew forth his last 
puppet, it was a Satan as he tempted Eve, saying — 

"Hold this for me, good Ulrich, till I am out of the 
coach, and then I shall hear all about it." 

To which the other answered — 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 2ij 



" If you let me catch hold of this other Satan, whom ye 
bring with you, I think it were wiser done ! " 

Prince Ernest now sprang down the steps, his eye flaming 
with rage, and drawing his sword, cried — 

" Hold me, or I will stab the serpent to the heart, who so 
disgraced me and my family honour. I will murder her 
there in the coach before your eyes." 

Whereupon old Ulrich flung the little wooden Satan to the 
ground, and seized the young man by the arm, while Sidonia 
screamed violently. But the old Duke stepped deliberately 
out of the coach. Seeing, however, his wooden Satan lying 
broken on the ground, he became very wroth, and called 
loudly for a turner with his glue-pot. Then he ascended 
the steps, and when all had greeted him deferentially, he 
began — 

"Dear niece, worthy cousins, and friends, ye have no 
doubt heard of the misfortune which hath befallen Sidonia 
von Bork, who sits there in the carriage. Her father has 
died ; and, further, she has been disinherited. Thereupon 
she fled to me to seek a refuge. Now ye all know well that 
the Von Borks are an ancient, honourable, and illustrious 
race — none more so ; therefore I had compassion upon the 
orphan, and brought her hither to effect a reconciliation 
between her and Otto Bork, her brother. Step forward, 
Otto Bork, where are you hiding? Step forth, and hand 
your sister from the carriage ; I saw you amongst the nobles 
here to-day. Step forth ! ** 

But Otto had disappeared; and as the Duke found he 
would not answer to his summons, he bid Sidonia come forth 
herself. Whereupon the young Prince swore fiercely that, 
if she but put a foot upon the step he would murder her. 
"What the devil! young man," said the Duke, laughing; 
" first you must needs wed her, and now you will slay her 
dead at our feet ! This is somewhat inconsistent. Come 
forth, Sidonia ; he will not be so cruel." 



2i6 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



But she sat in the coach, and wept like a child who has 
lost its nurse. So my gracious lady stepped forward, and 
commanded the coachman to drive instantly with the maiden 
to the town inn ; and so it was done. 

Now the old Duke never ceased for the whole forenoon 
soliciting Otto Bork to take the poor orphan home with him, 
and there to treat her as a faithful and kind brother, in com- 
pensation for her father's harsh and unnatural will; but it 
was all in vain, as she indeed had prophesied. **Not the 
weight of a feather more should she get than the two farm- 
houses in Zachow; and never let her call him brother, for 
ancient as his race was, never had one of them borne the 
brand of infamy till now." 

In the afternoon, all the prelates, nobles, and burghers 
assembled in the grand hall ; then entered the ducal family, 
Barnim the elder at their head. He was dressed in a long 
black robe, such as the priests wear now, with white ruffles 
and Spanish frill, and was bareheaded. He took his seat at 
the top of the table, and thus spake — 

<^ Illustrious Princess, dear cousins, nobles, and faithful 
burghers, ye all know that I have ruled this Pomeranian land 
for fifty years, upholding the pure doctrine of Doctor Martin 
Luther, and casting down papacy in all places and at all times. 
But as I am now old, and find it hard sometimes to keep my 
unruly vassals in order, whereof we have had a proof lately, it 
is my will and purpose to resign the government into the hands 
of my dear cousins, the illustrious Princes von Pommem- 
Wolgast, and retire to Oderburg in Old Stettin, there to rest 
in peace for the remainder of my days ; but there are four 
princes (for the fifth, Casimir, to-morrow or next day shall get 
a church endowment) and but two duchies. For ye know 
that, by the Act passed in 1 541, the Duchy of Pomerania can 
only be divided into two portions, the other princes of the 
family being entitled but to life-annuities. Therefore I have 
resolved to let it be decided by lot amongst the four Pome- 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 217 



ranian princes (according to the example set us by the holy 
apostles), which of them shall succeed me in Stettin, which is 
to rule in Wolgast in the room of my loved brother, Philippus 
Primus of blessed memory ; and, finally, which is to be 
content only with the life-annuity. And this shall now be 
ascertained in your presence." 

Having ended, he commanded the Grand Marshal, Von 
F lemming, to bring the golden lottery-box with the tickets, 
and beckoned the young princes to the table. Then, while 
they drew the lots, he commanded all the nobles, knights, and 
burghers present to lift up their hands and repeat the Lord's 
Prayer aloud. So every hand was elevated, even the Duke 
and my gracious lady uplifting theirs, and the three young 
princes drew the lots, but not the fourth, and this was BogislafF. 
So Duke Barnim wondered, and asked the reason. Where- 
upon he answered, " That he would not tempt God in aught. 
To govern a land was a serious thing 5 and he who had little 
to rule had little to be responsible for before God. He would 
therefore freely withdraw his claims, and be content with the 
annuity; then he could remain with his dear mother, and 
console her in her widowhood. He did not fear that he 
would ever repent his choice, for he had more pleasure in 
study than in the pomp of the world ; and if he took the 
government, then must his beloved library be given up for food 
to the moths and spiders." 

All arguments were vain to turn him from his resolve : so 
the lots were drawn, and it was found that Johann Frederick 
had come by the Dukedom of Stettin, and Ernest Ludovicus 
by that of Wolgast, 

But as Barnim the younger went away empty, he was filled 
with envy and mortification, showing quite a different spirit 
from his meek, humble-minded brother, BogislafF. He swore, 
and cursed his ill luck. «* Why did not that fool of a book- 
worm give over his chance to him, if he would not profit by 
it himself? Why the devil should he descend to play the 



2l8 



SlDüNIA THE SORCERESS 



commoner 9 when he was born to play the prince ? ** and such- 
like unamiable and ill-tempered speeches. However , he was 
now silenced by the drums and trumpets, which struck up the 
Te Deurrif in which all present joined Then Doctor Dannen- 
baum offered up a prayer, and so that grand ceremony con- 
cluded. But the feasting and drinking was carried on with 
such spirit all through the evening, and far into the night, that 
all the young lords, except Bogislaff, had well nigh drowned 
their senses in the wine-cup; and Ernest started up about 
midnight, declaring that he would go to the inn and murder 
Sidonia* Barnim was busy quarrelling with Johann Frederick 
about his annuity. So ICrnest would certainly have gone to 
Sidonia, if one of the nobles, by name Dinnies Kleist, a man 
of huge strength, had not detained him in a singular manner* 
For he laid a wager that, just with his little finger in the girdle 
of the young Prince, he would hold him fast ; and if he (the 
Prince) moved but one inch from the spot where he stood, he 
was content to lose his wager. 

And, in truth. Prince ICrnest found that he could not stir 
one step from the spot where Dinnies Kleist held him ; so he 
called a noble to assist him, who seized his hand and tried 
to draw him away, but in vain ; then he called a second, a 
third, a fourth, up to a dozen, and they all held each other 
by the hand, and pulled and pulled away till their heads 
nearly touched the floor, but in vain; not one inch could 
they make the Prince to move. So Dinnies Kleist won hif 
wager ; and the Duke, Johann Frederick, was so delighted 
with this proof of his giant strength, that he took him into 
his service from that hour. So the whole night Dinnies 
amused the guests by performing equally wonderful feats even 
until day dawned. 

Now, there was an enormous golden becker which Duke 
Ratibor I. had taken away from the rich town of Konghalla, 
in Norway land, when he fell upon it and plundered it* 
This becker stood on the table filled with wine, and as the 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 219 

Duke handed it to him to pledge him, Dimiies said, Shall 
I crush this in my hand, like fresh bread, for your Grace ? " 
" You may try," said the Duke, laughing ; and instantly he 
crushed it together with such force, that the wine dashed 
down all over the table-cover. lum^ the Duke threw down 
some gold and silver medals — ** Could he break them ? " 

" Ay, truly, if they were given to him ; not else." 

** Take, then, as many as you can break," said the Duke. 
So he broke them all as easily as altar wafers, and thrust 
them, laughing, into his pocket. 

/crm, there had been large quantities of preserved cherries 
at supper, and the lacqueys had piled up the stones on a 
dish like a high mountain. From this mountain Dinnies took 
handful after handful, and squeezed them together, so that 
not a single stone remained whole in his hand. We shall 
hear a great deal more of this Dinnies Kleist, and his strength, 
as we proceed ; therefore shall let him rest for the presenL 



CHAPTER VI. 

How Sidoma u agam discovered wtb the groom, Johann 
jffpeinuuttu 

It was a good day for Johann Appelmann, when his Either 
went to the Diet at Wollin. For as the old burgomaster 
held strictly by his word, and sent him each day to the 
writing-office, and locked him up each night in his little 
room, the poor young man had found life growing very dull. 
Now he was his mother's pet, and all his sins and wickedness 
were owing to her as much as Sidonia's to her Either. She 
had petted and spoiled him from his youth up, and stiffened 
his back against his father. For whenever worthy Jacob 
laid the stick upon the boy's shoulders, she cried and roared, 
and called him nothing but an old tyrant. Then how she 



SIDONJA THK SOUCRRKSS 



wa« always stuffing him up with tit-bitu and dainticf, whenever 
hi» father's back was turned ; and if there were a glass of 
wine left in the bottle, the boy must have it. Then she let 
him and his brother beat and abuse all the street-boys and 
send them away bleeding like dogs ; and some were afraid to 
complain of them, ai they were sons of the burgomaster ; 
and if others came to the house to do so, she took good care 
to send them away with a stout blow or bloody nose. 

And as the lads grew up, how she praised their beauty, and 
curled their hair and beards herself, telling them they were 
not to think of citizen wives, but to look after the richest and 
highest, for the proudest in the land might be glad to get 
them as husbands. So she prated away during her husband's 
absence, for he was in his office all day and most part of the 
evening. And God knows, bad fruit she brought forth with 
such rearing — not alone in Johann, but also in his brother 
Wittich, who, as I afterwards heard, got on no better in 
Pudgla, where he held the office of magistrate. So true it is 
what the Scripture says, " A wise woman buildeth her house, 
but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands " (Prov. xiv.) 
Then, another Scripture, "As moths from a garment, so 
from a woman wickedness" (Sirach xlii.) 

For what did this fool do now ? As soon as her upright 
and worthy husband had left the house, forgetting and de- 
spising all his admonitions respecting this son Johann, she 
called together all her acquaintance, and kept up a gorman- 
dising and drinking day after day, all to comfort her heart's 
dear pet Johann, who had been used so harshly by his cross 
father. Think of her fme, handsome son being stuck down 
all day to a clerk's desk. Ah ! was there ever such a tyrant 
as her husband to any one, but especially to his own bom 
children ? 

And so she went on complaining how she had thrown 
herself away upon such a hard-hearted monster, and had 
refused so many fine young carls, all to wed Satan himself 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS aai 



at least. She could not make out why God had sent such 
a curse ujwn her. 

When the brave Johann heard all this, he begged money 
from his mother, that he might seek anotlier situation. Now 
that there was a new duke in Stettin, he would assuredly 
get employment there, but then he must treat all the young 
fellows and pages about the court, otherwise they would not 
put in a good word for him. Therefore he would give them 
a great carouse at the White Horse in the Monk's Close, and 
then assuredly he would be appointed chief equerry. So she 
believed every word he uttered ; but as old Jacob had carried 
away all the money that was in the house witli him, she sold 
the spices that had just come in, for a miserable sum, also her 
own pearl earrings and fur mantle, that her dear heart's son 
might have a gay carouse, to console him for all his father's 
hard treatment. 

Summa. — ^^Vhen the rogue had got all he could from her, 
he took his father's best mare from the stable, and rode up to 
Stettin, where he put up at the White Horse Inn, and soon 
scraped acquaintance with all the idle young fellows about the 
court. So they drank and caroused until Johann's last penny 
was spent, but he had got no situation except in good promises. 
Truly the young pages had mentioned him to the Duke, and 
asked the place of equerry for their jovial companion, but his 
Highness, Duke Johann, had heard too much of his doings at 
Wolgast, and would by no means countenance him. 

Then Johann bethought himself of Sidonia, for he had 
heard from his boon companions that she was in the Duke's 
house behind St. Mail's. And he remembered that purse 
embroidered with pearls and diamonds which his father had 
given her, so he went many days spying about the house, 
hoping to get a glimpse of Sidonia ; but as she never appeared, 
he resolved to gain admission by playing the tailor. Where- 
forc, he tied on an apron, took a tailor's measure and shears, 
and went straight up to the house, asking boldly, if a young 



222 SIDONIA THK SORCERKSS 



maiden named Sidonia did not live there? for he had got 
orders to make her a garment. Now the Ixtkcr'i» diiughter, 
'IVina Wehlen», »iwjMJCtcd all w;ii» not right, for «he had uccn 
my gay youth spying about the house before, and staring up at 
all the windows. However, she showed the tailor Sidonia's 
room, and then set herself down to watch. But the wonders 
of Providence are great Although she could not hear a 
word they said, yet all that passed in Sidonia's room was 
ma<!e evident — it was in this wise. Just before the house 
rose up the church of St. Mary's, with all its stately pillars, 
and as if G(hVh house wished in wrath to expose the wicked- 
ness of the pair, everything that passed in the room was 
shadowed on these jn liars ; so when Trina ol>served this, she 
ran for the other girli, crying, " Come here, come here, and 
see how the two shadows are kissing each other. They can 
be no other than Sidonia and her tailor. This would be fine 
news for our gracious lord ! " They would tell him the 
whole story when his Highness came that evening, and so get 
rid of this proud, haughty dragon who played the great lady 
amongst them, and ruled everything her own way. Therefore 
they all set themselves to watch for the tailor when he left 
Sidonia's room ; Init the whole day passed, and he had not 
done with his measunrment. Whereupon they concluded she 
must have secreted him in her chamber. 

Now the Duke h;id a private key of the house, and wat 
in the hatiit of walking over from Oderburg after dusk almott 
every evening ; but as there was no sign of him now, they de- 
spatched a messenger, f>idding him come quick to his house, 
and his Orace would hear and see marvels. How the young 
girls gathered round him when he entered, all telling him to- 
gether about Sidonia. And when at last he made out the 
story, his (/race fell int^) an unwonted rage (for he was 
generally mild and good-tempered) that a poacher should get 
int^) his preserves. So he runs to Sidonia's door and tries to 
open it, but the bolts are drawn. Then he threatened to send 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



for Master Hansen if she did not instantly admit him, at 
which all the girls laughed and clapped th«r hands with joy. 
Whereupon Sidonia at last came to the door with looks of 
great astonishment, and demanded what his Grace could >vant. 
It was bed-time, and so, of course, she had locked her door to 
lie down in safety. 

/Är. — " Where is that tailor churl who had come to her in 
the morning ? " 

Ilia, — She knew nothing about him, except that he had 
gone away long ago." 

So the girls all screamed No, no, that is not true ! She 
and the tailor had been kissing each other, as they saw by the 
shadows on the wall, and making love." 

Here Sidonia appeared truly horrified at such an accusa- 
tion, for she was a cunning hypocrite; and taking up the 
coif-block * with an air of offended dignity, said, turning to 
his Grace, " It was this coif-block, methinks, I had at the 
window with me, and may those be accursed who blackened 
me to your face." So the Duke half believed her, and stood 
silent at the window ; but Trina Wehlers cried out, " It is 
false ! it is false ! a coif-block could not give kisses ! " 
Whereupon Sidonia in great wrath snatched up a robe that 
lay near her on a couch, to hit the baker's daughter with 
it across the face. But woe ! woe ! under the robe lay the 
tiilor's cap, upon which all the girls screamed out, There 
is the cap ! there is the cap ! now we'll soon find the tailor," 
pushing Sidonia aade, and be^nning to search in every nook 
and comer of the room. Heyday, what an uproar there 
was now, when they caught sight of the tailor himself in the 
chimney and dragged him down ; but he dashed them aside 
with his hands, right and left, so that many got bleeding 
noses, hit his Grace, too, a blow as he tried to sdze him, and 
rushed out of the house. 

Still the Duke had time to recognise the knave of Wol- 
* A block for head-gears. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



gast, and was so angry at his having escaped him, that he 
almost beat iSidonia. She was at her old villainy. No 
good would ever come of her. He saw that now with his 
own eyes. Therefore this very night she and her baggage 
should pack ofT, to the devil if she chose, but he had done 
with her for ever." 

When Sidonia found that the affair was taking a bad turn, 
she tried soft words, but in vain. His Highness ordered up 
her two serving wenches to remove her and her luggage* 
And so, to the great joy of the other girls, who laughed and 
screamed, and clapped their hands, she was turned out, and 
having nowhere to go to, put up once more at the White 
Horse Inn. 

Now Johann knew nothing of this until next morning, 
when, as he was toying with one of the maids, he heard a 
voice from the window, Johann ! Johann I I will give 
thee the diamond." And looking up, there was Sidonia* 
So the knave ran to her, and swore he was only jesting with 
the maid in the court, for that he would marry no one but 
her, as he had promised yesterday, only he must first wait 
till he was made equerry, then he would obtain letters of 
nobility, which could easily be done, as he was the son of 
a patnciui ; but gold, gold was wanting for all this, and to 
keep up with his friends at the court. Perhaps this very 
day he might get the place, if he had only some good 
claret to entertain them with ; therefore she had better give 
him a couple of diamonds from the purse. And so he went 
on with his lies and humbug, until at last he got what he 
wanted. 

Sidonia now felt so ashamed of her degradation, that she 
resolved to leave the White Horse, and take a little lodging 
in the Monk's Close until Johann obtained the post of equerry* 
But in vain she hoped and waited. ICvery day the rogue 
came, he begged for another pearl or diamond, and if she 
hesitated, then he swore it would be the last, for this very 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



day he was certain of the situation. At last but two diamonds 
were left, and beg as he might, these he should not have. 
Then he beat her, and ran off to the White Horse, but came 
back again in less than an hour. Would she forgive him ? 
Now they would be happy at last ; he had received his ap- 
pointment as chief equerry. His friends had behaved nobly 
and kept their word, therefore he must give them a right 
merry carouse out of gratitude ; she might as well hand him 
those two little diamonds. Now they would want for nothing 
at last, but live like princes at the table of his Highness the 
Duke. Would she not be ready to marry him immediately ? 

Thereupon the unfortunate Sidonia handed over her two 
last jewels, but never laid eyes on the knave for two days 
after, when he came to tell her it was all up with him now, 
the traitors had deceived him, he had got no situation, and 
unless she gave him more money or jewels he never could 
marry her. She had still golden armlets and a gold chain, 
let her go for them, he must see them, and try what he could 
get for them. But he begged in vain. Then he stormed, swore, 
threatened, beat her, and finally rushed out of the house de- 
claring that she might go to the devil, for as to him he would 
never give himself any further trouble about her. 



CHAPTER VII. 

Of the distress in Pomeraman hmd — Jtem^ how Sidonia and 
Johann Appdmann determine to join the rMers in the 
viciniiy of Stargard 

When my gracious lord, Duke Johann Frederick, succeeded 
to tlie government, he had no idea of hoarding up his money 
in old pots, but lavished it freely upon all kinds of buildings, 
hounds, horses — in short, upon everything that could make 
his court and castle luxurious and magnificent. 

VOL. 1, p 



226 SIDONIA THK 80RCKRKSS 



Indeed, he was often as prodigal, just to gratify a whim, a« 
when he Hung the gold coins to Dinnies Kleist, merely to see 
if he could break them. Vor instance, he was not content 
with the old ducal residence at Stettin, but must pull it down 
and build another in the forest, not far from Stargard, with 
churches, towers, stables, and all kinds of buildings ; and this 
new residence he called after his own name, Friedrichs- 
wald. 

Item^ my gracious lord had many princely visitors, who 
would come with a train of six hundred horses or more ; and 
his princely s|)Ouse, the Duchess Krdmuth, was a lady of 
munificent spirit, and flung away gold by handfuls; so that 
in a short time his Highness had run through all his fore- 
fathers' savings, and his incoming revenue was greatly 
diminished by the large annuity which he had to pay to old 
Duke Harnim. 

1'herefore he summoned the states, and requested them to 
assist him with more money ; but they gave answer that his 
Highness wanted prudence ; he ought to tie his purse tighter. 
Why did he build that new castle of Friedrichswald ? Was 
it ever heard in Pomerania that a prince needed two state 
residences ? But his Highness never entered the treasury to 
look after the expenditure of the duchy — he did nothing but 
t>anquet, hunt, fish, and tniild. The states, therefore, had no 
gold for such extravagances. 

When his Highness hiid received this same answer two or 
three times from the states, he waxed wroth, and threatened 
to pronounce the interdictum sacuiare over his poor land, and 
finally close the royal treasury and all the courts of justice, until 
the states would give him money. 

Now the old treasurer, Jacob Zitsewitz, who had quitted 
Wolgast to enter the service of his Grace, was so shocked at 
these proceedings, that he killed himself out of pure grief and 
shame. He was an upright, excellent man, this old Zitsewitz, 
though perchance, like old Duke Barnim, he loved the maidens 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS aa? 

and a lusty Poroeranian draught rather too well. And he fore- 
told all the evil that would result from this same interdict ; but 
his Highness resisted his entreaties ; and when the old man 
found his warnings unheeded and despised, he stabbed himself, 
as I have said, there in the treasury, before his master's eyes, 
out of grief and shame. 

The misery which he prophesied soon fell upon the land ; 
for it was just at that time that the great house of Loitz failed 
in Stettin, leaving debts to the amount of twenty tons of gold, 
it was said ; by reason of which many thousand men, widows, 
and orphans, were utterly beggared, and great distress brought 
upon all ranks of the people. Such universal grief and lamen- 
tation never had been known in all Pomerania, as I have heard 
my father tell, of blessed memory ; and as the princely treasury 
was closed, as also all the courts of justice, and no redress could 
be obtained, many mi^uided and ruined men resolved to re- 
venge themselves ; and this was now a welcome hearing to 
Johaim Appelmann. 

For having given up all hope of the post of equerry, he made 
acquaintance with these disafR^cted persons, amongst whom was 
a miller, one Philip Konneman by name, a notorious knave. 
With this Konnenum he sits down one evening in the inn to 
drink Rostock beer, begins to curse jand abuse the reigning 
family, who had ruined and beggared the people even more than 
Hans Loitz. They ought to combine together and right them- 
selves. Where was the crime ? Thdr cause was good ; and 
where there were no judges in the land, complaints would do 
little good. He would be their captain. Let him speak to 
the others about it, and see would they consent. He knew of 
many churches where there were jewels and other valuables 
still remaining. Also in Staigard, where his dear father played 
the burgomaster, there was much gold. 

So they fixed a night when they should all meet at Las- 
t;idie,* near the ducal fish-house; and Johann then goes to 
* A suburb Stettin, 



228 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



Sidonia to wheedle her out of the gold chain, for handsel for 
the robbers. 

" Now," he said, " the good old times were come back in 
Pomerania, when every one trusted to his own good sword, and 
were not led like sheep at the beck of another ; for the treasury 
and all the courts of justice were closed. So the glorious times 
of knight-errantry must come again, such as their forefathers 
had seen." His companions had promised to elect him captain ; 
but then he must give them handsel for that, and the gold 
chain would just sell for the sum he wanted. What use was 
it to her ? If she gave it, then he would take her with him, 
and the first rich prize they got he would marry her certainly, 
and settle down in Poland afterwards, or wherever else she 
wished. That would be a glorious life, and she would never 
regret the young Duke. And had not all the nobles in old time 
led the same life, and so gained their castles and lands ? " 

But Sidonia began to weep. ** Let him do what he would, 
she would never give the chain ; and if he beat her, she would 
scream for help through the streets, and betray all his plans to 
the authorities. Now she saw plainly how she had been de- 
ceived. He had talked her out of all her gold, and now 
wanted to bring her to the gallows at last No, never should 
he get the chain — it was all she had left ; and she had deter- 
mined at last to go and live quietly at her farm in Zachow, as 
soon as she could obtain a vehicle from Regenswald to Labes." 

When Johann heard this, he was terribly alarmed, and 
kissed her little hands, and coaxed and flattered her — Why 
did she weep ? There were plenty of herons' feathers now 
in the garden behind St. Mar/s, for the birds were moulting. 
She could easily get some of them, and they were worth 
three times as much as the gold chain. Did she think it a 
crime to take a few feathers from that old sinner, Duke 
Barnim, or his girls ? And if she really wished to leave him, 
she could sell the fefithers even better in Dresden than here." 
It was all in vain. Sidonia continued weeping — ''Let 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



229 



him talk as he liked, she would never give the chain. He 
was a knave through and through. Woe to her that she had 
ever listened to him ! He was the cause of all her misery ! " 
;md so she went on. 

But the cunning fox would not give up his prey so easily. 
He now tried the same trick which he had played so suc- 
cessfully at Wolgast upon old Ulrich» and at Stargard upon 
his father; in short, he played the penitent, and began to 
weep and lament over his errors, and all the misery he had 
caused her. It was, indeed, true that he was to blame for 
all ; but if she would only forgive him, and say she pardoned 
him, he would devote his life to her, and revenge her upon all 
her enemies. The moment for doing so was nigh at hand ; 
for the young lord. Prince Ernest, who had so shamefully 
abandoned her, was coming here to Stettin with his young 
bride, the Princess Hedwig of Brunswick, to spend the 
honeymoon, and would he not take good care to waylay them 
on their journey to Wolgast, and give them something to 
think of for the rest of thdr lives ? " 

When Sidonia heard these tidings, her eyes flashed like a 
cat's in the dark. «*Who told him that? She would not 
believe it, unless some one else confirmed the story.'' 

So he answered — " That any one could confirm it, for the 
whole casde was filled with workmen making preparations for 
their reception ; the bridal chamber had been hung with new 
tiipestry, and painters and carvers were busy all day long 
painting and carving the united arms of Pomerania and Bruns- 
wick upon all the furniture and glass." 

Ilia. — Well, she would go into the town to inquire, and 
if his tale were true, and that he swore to marry her, he 
should have the chain." 

/ZÄP. — "There was a carver going by with his basket 
and tools — ^let her call him in, and hear what he said on the 
matter." 

So my cunning fellow called out to the workman, who 



2,30 8ID0NIA THK SORCERESS 



8tq)pcd in presently with his bafkcti and assured the lady 
politely, that in fourteen days the young Duke of Wolgast 
and his princely bride were to arrive at the castle, for the 
Court Marshal had told him this himself, and given him 
orders to have a large number of glasses cut with their united 
arms ready with all diligence. 

When Sidonia heard this, and saw the glasses in his basket, 
she handed the golden chain to Johann, and the carver went 
his way. Then the aforesaid rogue fell down on his knees, 
swearing to marry her, and never to leave her more, for she 
had now given him all ; and if this, too, were lost, she must 
beg her way to Zachow. 

So the gallows-bird went off with the chain, turned it into 
money, drank and caroused, and with the remainder set off 
for Lastadie, to meet the ringleaders, near the ducal fish- 
house, as agreed upon. 

But Master Konneman had only been able to gather ten 
ft*llows together ; the others held back, though they had talked 
so boldly at first, thinking, no doubt, that when the courts of 
justice were reo])ened, they would all be brought to the gallows. 

80 Johann thought the number too small for his jnirposes, 
and agreed with the others to send an envoy to the robber- 
band of the Htargard Wood, proposing a league between them, 
and offering himself (Johann Appelmann, a knight of excellent 
family and endowments) as their captain. Should they consent, 
the said Johann would give them right good handsel ; and on 
the apj)ointcd day, meet them in the forest, with his illustrious 
and noble bride \ and as a sign whereby they should know him, 
he would whistle three times loudly when he approached the 
wood. 

Konneman undertook to be the bearer of the message, 
and returned in a few days, declaring that the robbers had 
received the proposal with joy. He found them encamped 
under a large nut-tree in the forest, roasting a sheep upon a 
spear, at a large fire. So they made him sit down and eat 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



with them, and told him it was a right jolly life, with no 
ruler but the great God above them. Better to live under 
the free heaven than die in their squalid cabins. The band 
was strong, besides many who had joined lately, since the 
bankruptcy of Hans Loitz, and there were some gipsies too, 
amongst whom was an old hag who told fortunes, and had 
lately prophesied to the band that a great prize was in store 
for them ; they had just returned with some booty from the 
little town of Damm, where they had committed a robbery. 
One of their party, however, had been taken there. 

When Johann heard the good result of his message, he 
summoned all his followers to another meeting at the ducal 
fish-house, gave them each money, and swore them to 
fidelity ; then bid them disperse, and slip singly to the band, 
to avoid observation, and he would himself meet them in the 
forest next day. 

CHAPTER VIII. 

How Johann and Stdoma meet an adventure at Alten Damm — 
Jtem^ of their reciftion by the robher^band 

Now Johann Appelmann had a grudge against the newly 
appointed equerry to his Highness, for the man had swilled 
his claret, and been foremost in his promises, and yet now 
had stepped into the place himself, and left Johann in the 
lurch. The knave, therefore, determined on revenge ; so 
invented a story, how that his father, old Appelmann, had 
sent for him to give him half of all he was worth, and as he 
must journey to Stargard directly, he prayed his friend the 
equerry to lend him a couple of horses and a waggon out of 
the ducal stables, with harness and all that would be neces- 
sary, swearing that when he brought them back he would 
give him and his other friends such a carouse at the inn, as 
they had never yet had in their lives. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



And when the other asked, would not one horse be suf- 
ficient, Johann replied no, that he required the waggon for 
his luggage, and two horses would be necessary to draw 
it. Summa^ the fool gives him two beautiful Andalusian 
stallions, with harness and saddles ; a waggon, whereon 
my knave mounted next morning early, with Sidonia and 
her luggage, and took the miller, Konneman, with him as 
driver. 

But as they passed through Alten Damm, a strange ad- 
venture happened, whereby the all-merciful God, no doubt, 
wished to turn them from their evil way ; but they Hung His 
warnings to the wind. 

For the carl was going to be executed who belonged to 
the robber-band, that had committed a burglary there, in the 
town, some days previously. However, the gallows having 
been blown down by a storm, the linen-weavers, according to 
old usage, came to erect another. This angered the millers, 
who also began to erect one of their own, declaring that the 
weavers had only a right to supply the ladder, but they were 
to erect the gallows. A great fight now arose between 
weavers and millers, while the poor thief stood by with his 
hands tied behind his back, and arrayed in his winding- 
sheet. But the sheriffs, and whatever other honourable 
citizens were by, having in vain endeavoured to appease the 
quarrel, returned to the inn, to take the advice of the honour- 
able council. 

Just at this moment Johann and Sidonia drove into the 
middle of the crowd, and the former leaped ofT and laughed 
heartily, for a miller had thrown down a poor lean weaver 
close behind the criminal, and was belabouring him stoutly 
with his floured fists, whilst the poor wretch screamed 
loudly for succour or assistance to the criminal, who answered 
in his Piatt Deutsch^ I cannot help thee, friend, for, see, 
my hands are bound.'' Upon this, Johann draws his knife 
from his girdle, and slipping behind the felon, cuts the 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 233 



cord. He straightway, finding himself free, jumped upon the 
miller, and turned the flour all red upon his fece with his 
heavy blows. Then he ran towards the waggon, but the 
hangman caught hold of him by the shoulder, so the poor 
wretch left the winding-sheet in his hand, and jumping, 
naked as he was, on the hack of one of the horses, set off, 
full speed, to the forest, with Sidonia screaming and roaring 
along with him. 

Millers and weavers now left off their wrangling, and 
joined together in pursuit, but in vain ; the fellow soon dis- 
tanced tliem all, and was lost to sight in the wood. 

When he had driven the waggon a good space, and still 
heard the roaring of the people in pursuit, he stopped the 
horses, and jumped off, to take to his heels amongst the 
bushes. Whereupon Konneman threw him a horse-cloth 
from the waggon, bidding him cover himself with it ; so the 
fellow snapped it up, and rolled it about his body with all 
speed. Now this horse-cloth was embroidered with the 
Pomeranian arms, and the poor Adam looked so absurd 
running away in such a garment, that Sidonia, notwith- 
standing all her fright, could not help bursting into a loud 
fit of laughter. 

Hereupon the crowd came up, cursing, swearing, and 
raging, that the thief had escaped them ; Johann Appelmann, 
too, was amongst them, and was just in the act of stepping 
into the waggon, when Prince Johann Frederick and a 
party of carbineers galloped up along with the chief equerry 
and a large retinue, all on their way to Friedrichswald. 

The Duke stopped to hear the cause of the tumult, and 
when they told him, he laughingly said, he would soon 
settle with the gallows-knaves ; then, turning to Appelmann, 
asked who he was, and what brought him there ? 

When Johann gave his name, and said he was going to 
Stargard, his Grace exclaimed, with surprise — 

" So thou art the knave of whom I have heard so much ; 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



who likewise know Thee not, have pity upon me, and help me 
to leave this robber den with Thy gracious help." 

Here such a shout of laughter resounded from all sides, 
that she sprang up, and seizing the best bundle in the waggon, 
plunged into the wood, with loud cries and lamentation; 
whilst Appelmann only said — 

" Never heed her, let her do as she pleases ; she will be 
back again soon enough, I warrant.** 

Accordingly, scarcely an hour had elapsed, when the un- 
happy maiden appeared again, to the great amusement of the 
whole band, who mocked her yet more than before. She 
came back crying and lamenting — 

"She could go no further, for the wolves followed her, 
and howled round her on all sides. Ah ! that she were a 
stone, and buried fathoms deep in the earth ! That shame- 
less knave, Appelmann, might indeed have pitied her, if he 
hoped for pity from God ; but had he not taken her robe to 
put it on the gipsy beggar ? She nearly died of shame at the 
sight. But she would never forgive the beggar's brat to the 
day of judgment for it. All she wanted now was some good 
Christian to guide her out of the wild forest. Would no one 
come with her ? that was all she asked.'* 

And so she went on crying, and lamenting in the deepest grief. 

Summa. — ^When the knave heard all this, his heart seemed 
to relent ; perhaps he dreaded the anger of her relations if 
she were treated too badly, or, mayhap, it was compassion, I 
cannot say ; but he sprang up, kissed her, caressed her, and 
consoled her. 

" Why should she leave them ? He would remain faith- 
ful and constant to her, as he had sworn. Why should the 
gown for the beggar-girl anger her? When they get the 
herons' feathers on the morrow, he ^uld buy her ten new 
gowns for the one he had taken.** And so he continued in 
his old deceiving way, till she at last believed him, and was 
comforted. 



2.38 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



Here the roll of a carriage was heard, and as many of the 
band as were not quite drunk seized their muskets and pikes, 
and rushed in the direction of the sound But behold, the 
waggon and horses, with all Sidonia's luggage, was off ! For, 
in truth, the equerry, seeing Johannes treachery, had secretly 
followed him, hiding himself in the bushes till it grew dark, 
but near enough to observe all that was going on ; then, 
watching his opportunity, and knowing the robbers were all 
more or less drunk, he sprang upon the waggon, and galloped 
away as hard as he could Johann gave chase for a little, 
but the equerry had got too good a start to be overtaken ; 
and so Johann returned, cursing and raging, to the band« 
Then they all gathered round the fire again, and drank and 
caroused till morning dawned, when each sought out a good 
sleeping-place amongst the bushwood« There they lay till 
morn, when Johann summoned them to prepare for their 
excursion to the Duke's gardens at Zachan. 



CHAPTER IX. 

How his HtghneHf Duke Barnim the elder ^ went a^hawking 
at Marienfliiii—Itemf of the shameful robbery at Zachan^ 
and how burgomaster Appelmann remonstrates with his 
abandoned son. 

Aftkr Duke Barnim the elder had resigned the government, 
he betook himself more than ever to field-sports \ and amongst 
others, hawking became one of his most favourite pursuits. 
By this sport, he stocked his gardens at Zachan with an 
enormous number of herons, and made a considerable sum 
annually by the sale of the feathers. These gardens at 
Zachan covered an immense space, and were walled round. 
Within were many thousand herons' nests \ and all the birds 
taken by the falcons were brought here, and their wings 



4 



SIDONTA THE SORCERESS 239 

clipped. Then the keepers fed them with fish, frogs, and 
lizards, so that they became quite tame, and when their 
wings grew again, never attempted to leave the gardens, but 
diligently built their nests and reared their young. Now, 
though it cost a great sum to keep these gardens in order, 
and support ail the people necessary to look after the birds, 
yet the Duke thought little of the expense, considering the 
vast sum which the feathers brought him at the nooulting 
season. 

Accordingly, during the moulting time, he generally took 
up his abode at a castle adjoining the gardens, called The 
Stone Rampart,'* to inspect the gathering in of the feathers 
himself; and he was just on his journey thither with his fal- 
coners, hunters, and other retainers, when the robber-band 
caught sight of him firom the wood. His Highness was 
seated in an open carriage, with Trina Wehlers, the baker's 
daughter, by his side; and Sidonia, who recognised her 
enemy, instantly entreated Johann to revenge her on the girl 
if possible ; but, as he hesitated, the old gipsy mother stepped 
forward and whispered Sidonia» <'that she would help her 
to a revenge, if she but gave her that little golden smelling- 
bottle which she wore suspended by a gold chain on her 
neck." Sidonia agreed, and the revenge soon followed; 
for the Duke left the carriage, and mounted a horse to follow 
the chase, the ^coner having unloosed a couple of hawks 
and let them fly at a heron. Trina remained in the coach ; 
but the coachman, wishing to see the ^rt, tied his horses 
to a tree, and ran off, too, after the others into the wood. 
The hawk soared high above the heron, watching its oppor- 
tunity to pounce upon the quarry ; but the heron, just as it 
swooped down upon it, drove its sharp bill through the body 
of the hawk, and down they both came together covered 
with blood, right between the two carriage horses. 

No doubt this was all done through the magic of the gipsy 
mother; for the horses took £right instantly, plunged and 



240 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



reared^ and daihed off with the carnage, which was over- 
turned some yards from the spot, and the baker's daughter 
had her leg broken. Hearing her screams, the Duke and 
the whole party ran to the spot; and his Highness first 
scolded the coachman for leaving his horses, then the fal- 
coner for having let fly his best falcon, which now lay there 
quite dead. The heron, however, was alive, and his Grace 
ordered it to be bound and carried off to Zachan. The 
btker's daughter prayed, but in vain, that the coachman 
might be hung upon the next tree. Then they all set ofF 
homeward, but Trina screamed so loudly, that his Grace 
stopped, and ordered a couple of stout huntsmen to carry her 
to the neighbouring convent of Marienfliess, where, as I am 
credibly informed, in a short time she gave up the ghost. 

Now, the robber-band were watching all these proceedings 
from the wood, but kept as still as mice. Not until his 
Grace had driven off a good spce, and the baker's daughter 
had been carried away, did they venture to speak or move ; 
then Sidonia jumped up, clapping her hands in ecstasy, and 
mimicking the groans and contortions of the poor girl, to 
the great amusement of the band, who laughed loudly $ but 
Johann recalled them to business, and proposed that they 
should secretly follow his Highness, and hide themselves at 
Elsbruck, near the water-mill of Zachan, until the evening 
closed in. In order also to be quite certain of the place 
where his Grace had laid up all the herons' feathers of that 
season, Johann proposed that the miller, Konnemann, should 
visit his Grace at Zachan, giving out that he was a feather 
merchant from Berlin. Accordingly, when they reached 
Elsbruck, the miller put on my knave's best doul)let (for he 
was almost naked before), and proceeded to the Stone Ram- 
part, Sidonia bidding him, over and over again, to inquire at 
the castle when the young Lord of Wolgast and his bride 
were expected at Stettin. The Duke received Konnemann 
very graciously, when he found that he was a wealthy feather 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 24t 



merchant from Berlin, who, having heard of the number and 
extent of his Grace's gardens at Zachan, had come to pur- 
chase all the last year's gathering of feathers. Would his 
Highness allow him to see the feathers ? 

Smmma. — He had his wish; for his Grace brought him 
into a litde room on the ground-floor, where lay two sacks 
full of the most perfect and beautiful feathers ; and when the 
Duke demanded a thousand florins for them, the knave re- 
plied, That he would willingly have the feathers, but must 
take the night to think over the price." Then he took good 
note of the room, and the garden, and all the passages of the 
casde, and so came back in the twilight to the band with 
oreat joy, assuring them that nothing would be easier than to 
rob the old turner's apprentice of his feathers. 

Such, indeed, was the truth ; for at midnight my knave 
Johann, vnth Konnemann and a few chosen accomplices, 
carried away those two sacks of feathers ; and no one knew 
a word about the robbery until the next morning, when the 
biind were far off in the forest, no one knew where. But a 
qu;uTel had arisen between my knave and Sidonia over the 
feathers : she wanted them for herself, that she might turn 
them into money, and so be enabled to get back to her own 
people; but Johann had no idea of employing his booty in 
this way. "What was she thinking of? If those fine 
stallions, indeed, had not been stolen from him, he might 
have given her the feathers ; but now there was nothing else 
left wherewith to pay the band — she must wait for another 
i^ood prize. Meantime they must settle accounts with the 
young Lord of Wolgast, who, as Konnemann had found out, 
was expected at Stettin in seven days.'' 

Now, the daring robbery at Zachan was the talk of the 
whole country, and1|s the old burgomaster, Appelmann, had 
heard at FriedrichsiMd about the horses and waggon, and his 
son's shameful knavery, he cookl think of nothing else but 
that the same rascal had stolen the Duke's feathers at Zachan. 

vou I. Q 



8lI)ONIA THK SORCKRK8S 



So he took lomc faithful burghcri with him» and fct off for 
the forcfti to try and find his loit »on. At lait^ after many 
Wandering«» a |>ea#ant, who was cutting wood, told them that 
he had seen the robber-band encamped in a thick wood near 
Rehewinkel $ * and when the miserable father and his 1>urgherf 
arrived at the place» there indeed was the robber -band 
stretched upon the long grase» and Hidonia seated upon the 
stump of a tree — for she must play the lute» while Johann, 
his godless son» was plaiting the long black hair of the hand' 
some Sioti. 

Methinks the knave must have felt somewhat startled 
when his father sprang from behind an oak» a dagger in ht§ 
band» exclaiming loudly» Johann» Johann» thou lost» aban- 
doned son I is it thus I find thee i 

The knave turned as white as a corpse upon the gallows, 
and his hands seemed to freeze upon the fair Sioli's hair ; but 
the band jumped up and seized their arms» shouting» Seize 
him I seize him I " The old man» however» cared little for 
their shouts; and still gazing on his son» cried out» ''Dost 
thou not answer me» thou God- forgetting knave I Thou hast 
deceived and robbed thy own Prince. Answer me — who 
amongst all these is fitter for the gallows than thou art i " 

So my knave at last came to his senses» and answered 
sullenly » ** What did he want here i He had done nothing 
for him. He must earn his own bread.'' 

/i/e. — ''God forgive thee thy sins; did I not take thee 
back as my son» and strive to correct thee as a true and loving 
father ? Why didst thou run away from my house and the 
writing-office ? " 

J/ic, — " He was born for something else than to lc;«l the 
life of a dog." 

Jiig, — « He h;ul never made him live any such life ; and 
even if he had» better live like a dog than as a robber wolf 

* Two miles and a half from Htari^Ard, and the present dwelling-place 
of the editor. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



Htc, — " He was no robber. Who had belied him so ? 
He and his friends were on their way to Poland to join the 
army." 

///r. — " Wherefore, then, had he tricked his Highness of 
Stettin out of the horses ? 

Hie, — That was only a revenge upon the equerry, to pay 
him back in his own coin, for he was his enemy, and had 
broken faith with him." 

/Äf. — " But he had robbed his Grace Duke Barnim, like- 
wise, of the herons' feathers. No one else had done it." 

Hie. — "Who dared to say so? He was insulted and 
belied by every one." Then he cursed and swore that he 
knew nothing whatever of these herons' feathers which he was 
making such a fuss about. 

Meanwhile the band stood round with cocked muskets, and 
as the burghers now pressed forward, to save their leader, if 
any violence were offered, Konnemann called out, " Give the 
word, master — shall I shoot down the churl ? " 

Here Johannes conscience was moved a little, and he 
shouted, " Back ! back ! — he is my father ! " 

But the old gipsy mother sprang forward with a knife, cry« 
ing, ** Thy father, fool ? — ^what care we for thy father ? Let 
mc at him, and I'll soon settle thy father with my knife." 

When the unfortunate son heard and saw this, he seized a 
heavy stick that lay near him, and gave the gipsy such a blow 
on the crown, that she rolled, screaming, on the ground. 
Whereupon the whole band raised a wild yell, and rushed 
u}K>n the burgomaster. 

Then Johann cried, almost with anguish, " Back ! back ! 
he is my father ! Do ye not remember your oaths to me ? 
Spare my father ! Wjdpt, at least ; he has something of im- 
port»ince to tell me." w 

And at last, though with difEculty, he succeeded in calming 
these children of Belial. Then drawing his ^ther aside, under 
the shade of a great oak» he began — « Dearest fisither mine. 



SinONM THK SORCERESS 



it wa« fear of jovl, and despair of the future» that drove me to 
this work $ but if you will now gire me three hundred florini , 
I will go forth into the wide world, and take honourable 
service, wherever it is to be had, during the wars/' 

Ilk. — Had he yet married that unfortunate Sidonia, who 
he observed, to his surprise, was still with him ? 

I/ic,'^* No } he could never marry the harlot now, for she 
had run away from old Duke Barnim, and followed him here 
to the forest.'' 

//If, — " What would become of her, then, when he joined 
the army ? " 

///V. — "That was her look-out. Let her go to her farm 
at Zachow." 

Hcrcu|X)n the old man held his peace, and rested his arm 
against the oak, and his grey head upon his arm, and looked 
down long upon the grass without uttering a word $ then he 
sighed deeply, and looking up, thus addressed Johann : — 

My son, I will trust thee yet again $ but it shall be the 
last time ; therefore take heed to what I say. Between Star- 
gard and Pegelow there stands an old thorn upon the highway ) 
there, to-morrow evening, by seven of the clock, my servant 
Caspar, whom thou knowest, shall bring thee three hundred 
florins ; but on this one condition, that thou dost now swear 
solemnly to abandon this villainous robber-band, and seek an • 
honourable living far away, in some other country, where thou 
must pray daily to God the Lord, to turn thee from thy evil 
ways, and help thee by His grace." 

So the knave knelt down before his father, wq>t, and prayed 
for his father's forgiveness ; then swore solemnly to abandon 
his sinful life, and with God's help to perform all tbit his father 
had enjoined. " And would he not give his last farewell to 
his dear, darling mother?" **Thy mother! — fih, thy mother! " 
sighed the old man ; but rise, now, and let me and mine home- 
wards. God grant that my eyes have beheld thee for the last 
time. Come, I will take this Sidonia back with me." 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 245 



So they forthwith joined the robber crew again, who were 
still making a great uproar, which, however, Johann appeased, 
and after some time obtained a free passage for his father and 
the burghers ; but Sidonia would not accompany them. The 
upright old burgomaster admonished first, then he promised to 
drive her with his own horses to her farm at Zachow ; but his 
words were all in vain, for the knave privately gave her a look, 
and whispered something in her ear, but no one knew what 
it was. 

Nor did the old man omit to admonish the whole band 
likewise, telling them that if they did not now look up to the 
high God, they would one day look down firom the high 
gallows, for all thieves and robbers came to dance in the wind 
at last: ten hung in Stargard, and he had seen twenty at 
Stettin, and not even the smallest town had its gallows 
empty. Hereat Konnemann cried out, Ho ! ho ! who 
will hang us now ? We know well the courts of justice are 
closed in all places.'' And as the old man sighed, and pre- 
pared to answer him, the whole band set up such a shout of 
laughter that he stood silent a space ; then turning round, trod 
slowly out of the thick wood with all his burghers, and was 
soon lost to view. 

The next evening Johann received the three hundred 
- florins at the thorn-bush, along with a letter from his father, 
admonishing him yet again, and conjuring him to fulfil his 
promise speedily of abandoning his wicked life. Upon 
which, my knave gave some of the money to a peasant that 
he met on the highway, and bid him go into the town, pur- 
chase some wine and all sorts of eatables, and fetch them to 
the band in the wood, that they might have a merry carouse 
that same night. This very peasant had been one of their 
accomplices, and great was his joy when he beheld them all 
again, and, in particular, the ^psy mother. He told her that 
all her prophecy had come out true, for his daughter had 
been deserted, and her lov^ hmji taken Stina Krugers to 



2^6 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



wife ; could «hc not, therefore, give him «omething that would 
make Stina childless, and cause her husband to hate her ? 

" Ay, if he crossed her hand with silver." 

This the peasant did. Whereupon she gave him a pad- 
lock, and whispered some words in his ear. 

When Sidonia heard that the man could be brought to hate 
his wife by some means, her eyes flashed wildly, and she called 
the horrible old gipsy mother aside, and asked her to tell her 
the charm. 

flla, — " Yes ; but what would she give her ? She had two 
pretty golden rings on her finger ; let her give them, and she 
should have the secret." 

Mac, — " She would give one ring now, and the other if 
the charm succeeded. The peasant had only given her a few 
groschen." 

Ilia, — Yes ; but she had only given him half the charm." 
Mac. — " Was it anything to eat or drink ? " 
Ilia. — " No ; there was no eating or drinking : the charm 
did it all." 

Hac. — " Then let her teach it to her, and if it succeeded 
by the young Lord of Wolgast, she would have both rings ; if 
not, but one." 

Jlla, — " It would succeed without doubt ; if his young 
wife had no promise of offspring as yet, she would remain 
childless for ever." 

Summa, — The old gipsy taught her the charm, the same 
with which she afterward bewitched the whole princely 
Pomeranian race, so that they perished childless from off the 
face of the earth ; * and this charm Sidonia confessed upon 
the rack afterwards, in the Great Hall of Oderlnirg, July 28, 
A.D. 1620. 

♦ Marjfinal note of Duke IJogblaflf XIV.— " O ter qunterque detes- 
taHlem I Kt c^o testis adfui Umetsi in acti» de induAtria hand notati«. 
(Oh, thrice accursed I And I, too, was present at ihh confcsHion, altiioiigh 
1 am not mentioned in the protocol) " 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS »4? 



CHAPTER X. 

How the robbers attack Pruue Ernest and his bride in the 
Uckermann forest^ and Marcus Bork and Dinnies Kleist 
come to their rescue. 

The young Lord of Wolgast and his young bride, the Princess 
Sophia Hedwig, arrived in due time at the court of Stettin, 
on a visit to their illustrious brother, Duke Johann Frederick. 
During the ten days of their stay, there was no end to the 
banquetings, huntings, fishings, and revellings of all kinds, to 
do honour to their presence. 

The young lord has quite recovered firom his long and 
strange illness. But the young bride complains a little. 
Whereupon my Lord of Stettin jests with her, and the courtiers 
make merry, so that the young bride blushes and entreats her 
husband to uke her away from this impudent court of Stettin, 
and take her home to his illustrious mother at Wolgast. 

Prince Ernest consents, but as the wind is contrary, he 
arranges to make the journey with a couple of carriages through 
the Uckermann forest, not waiting (or the grand escort of 
cavaliers and citizens which his lady mother had promised to 
send to Stettin, to convey the bride with all becoming honour 
to her own future residence at WolgasL 

His brother reminded him of the great danger from the 
robber-band in the wood, now that the courts of justice were 
closed, and that Sidonia and Johann were hovering in the 
vicinity, ready for any iniquity. Indeed, be trusted the states 
would soon be brought to reason by the dreadful condition ot 
the country, and give him the gold he wanted. These robbers 
would do more for him than he could do for himself. And 
this was not the only band that was to be feared ; for, since 
the fatal bankni^tcy of the Loitz family, robbers, and partisans, 
and freebooters had sprung up ia every comer of the lapd. 



248 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



Then he related the trick concerning; his two Andalusian 
stallions. And Duke Barnim the elder told him of his loss 
at Zachan, and that no one else but the knave Appelmaon 
had been at the bottom of it. So, at last, Prince Krnest 
half resolved to await the escort from Wolgast. However, 
the old Duke continued jesting with the bride, after his 
manner, so that the young Princess was blushing with shame 
every moment, and finally entreated her husbmd to set off at 
once. 

When his Grace of Stettin found he could prevail nothing, 
he bade them a kind farewell, promising in eight da/s to visit 
them at Wolgast, for the wedding festivities; and he seat 
stout Dinnies Kleist, with six companions, to escort them 
through the most dangerous part of the forest, which was a 
tract extending for about seven miles. 

Now, when they were half-way through the forest, a terrible 
storm came on of hail, rain, thunder, and lightning | and 
though the Prince and his bride were safe enough in the car- 
riage, yet their escort were drenched to the skin, and dripped 
like rivulets. The princely pair therefore entreated them 
to return to Falkenwald, and dry their clothes, for there 
was no danger to be apprehended now, since they were 
more than half through the wood, and close to the village of 
Mutzelburg. 

So Dinnies and his companions took their leave, and rode 
off. Shortly after the galloping of a horse was heard, and this 
was Marcus Bork ; for he was on his way to purchase the lands 
of Crienke, previous to his marriage with Clara von Dewitz, 
and had a heavy sack of gold upon his shoulder, and a lervant 
along with him. Having heard at Stettin that the Prince and 
his young bride were on the road, he had followed them, as 
fast as he could, to keep them company. 

By this time they had reached Barnim's Cross, and the 
Prince halted to point it out to his bride, and tell her the 
legend concerning it $ for the sun now shone forth from the 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



clouds, and the storm was over. But he first addressed his 
faithful Marcus, and asked, had he heard tidings lately of his 
cousin Sidonia ? But he had heard nothing. He would hear 
soon enough, I'm thinking. 

Then seeing that his good vassal Marcus was thoroughly 
wet, his Grace advised him to put on dry clothes ; but he 
had none with him. Whereupon his Grace handed him his 
own portmanteau out of the coach window, and bid him take 
what he wanted. 

Marcus then lifted the money-bag from his shoulder, 
which his Grace drew into the coach through the window — 
and sprang into the wood with the portmanteau, to change 
his clothes. While the Prince tarried for him, he related 
the story of Barnim's Cross to his young wife, thus : — 

" You must know, dearest, that my ancestor, Barnim, the 
second of the name, was murdered, out of revenge, in this 
very spot by one of his vassals, named Vidante von Mucker- 
witze. For this aforesaid ancestor had sent him into Poland 
under some pretence, in order the better to accomplish his 
designs upon the beautiful Mirostava of Warborg, Vidante's 
young wife. But the warder of Vogelsang, a village about 
two miles from here, pleasantly situated on the river Haff, 
and close to which lay the said Vidante's castle, discovered 
the amour, and informed the knight how he was dishonoured. 
His wrath was terrible when the news was brought to him, 
but he spoke no word of the matter until St. John's day in 
the year " 

But here his Grace paused in his story, for he had for- 
gotten the year ; so he drove on the carriage close up to the 
cross, where he could read the date — ** St John's day, a.D. 
MCCXCn." — and there stopped, with the blessed cross 
of our Lord covering and filling up the whole of the coach 
window. 

Ah, well it is said — Prov. xx. 24 — ** Each man's going is 
of the Lord, what man is there who understandeth his way ? " 



250 8IDONIA THE SORCERESS 

Now when the Princess had rejui the date for herself, she 
asked, what had happened to the Duke, his ancestor ? To 
which the Prince replied — 

" Here, in these very bushes, the jealous knight lay con- 
cealed, while the Duke was hunting. And here, in this spot, 
the Duke threw himself down upon the grass to rest, for he 
was weary. And he whistled for his retinue, who had been 
separated from him, when the knight sprang from his hiding- 
place and murdered him where he lay. His false wife he 
reserved for a still more cruel death. 

" For he brought a coppersmith from Stettin, and had him 
make a copper coffin for the wretched woman, who was 
obliged to help him in the work. Then he bade her put on 
her bridal dress, and forced her to enter the coffin, where he 
had her soldered up alive, and buried. And the story goes, 
that when any one walks over the spot, the coffin clangs in 
the earth like a mass-bell, to this very day." 

Meanwhile Marcus had retreated behind a large oak, to 
dress himself in the young Duke's clothes ; but the wicked 
robber crew were watching him all the time from the wood, 
and just as he drew the dry shirt over his head, before he 
had time to put on a single other garment, they sprang upon 
him with loud shouts, Sidonia the foremost of all, screaming, 
"Seize the knave! seize the base spy! he is my greatest 
enemy ! So Marcus rushed back to the coach, just as he 
was, and placing the cross as a shield between him and the 
robbers, cried out loudly to his Highness for a sword. 

The Prince would have alighted to assist him, but his 
young bride wound her arms so fast around him, shrieking 
till the whole wood re-echoed, that he was forced to remain 
inside. Up came the robber-band now, and attacked the 
coach furiously ; musket after musket was fired at it and the 
horses, but luckily the rain had spoiled the powder, so they 
threw away their muskets, while Sidonia screamed, " Seize 
the false-hearted liar, who broke his marriage promise to me ( 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 251 



seize his screaming harlot ! drag her from the coach ! Where 
is she? — let me see her! — we will cram her into the old 
oak-tree ; there she can hold her marriage festival with the 
wild-cats. Give her to me ! — give her to me ! I will teach 
her what marriage is ! ** And she sprang wildly forward, 
while the others flung their spears at Marcus. But the 
blessed cross protected him, and the spears stuck in the wood 
or in the body of the carriage, while he hewed away right 
and left, striking down all that approached him, till he stood 
in a pool of blood, and the white shirt on him was turned 
to red. 

As Sidonia rushed to the coach, he wounded her in the 
hand, upon which, with loud curses and imprecations, she 
ran round to the other coach window, calling out, <<Come 
hither, come hither, Johann ! here is booty, here is the false 
cat ! Come hither, and drag her out of the coach window 
for me ! " And now Marcus Bork was in despair, for the 
caichman had run away firom fear, and though his sword did 
good service, yet their enemies were gathering thick round 
them. So he bade the Princess, in a low voice, to tear open 
his bag of money, for the love of heaven, with all speed, and 
scatter the gold out of the windows with both hands; for 
help was near, he heard the galloping of a horse ; could they 
gain but a few moments, they were saved. Thereupon the 
Princess rained the gold pieces from the window, and the 
stupid mob instantly left all else to fling themselves on the 
ground for the bright coins, fighting with each other as to 
who should have them. In vain Johann roared, Leave the 
gold, fools, and seize the birds here in this cage ; ye can have 
the gold after.'* But they never heeded him, though he 
cursed and swore, and struck them right and left with his 
sword. 

But Marcus, meanwhile, had nearly come to a sad end; 
for the old gipsy hag swore she would stab him with her 
knife, and while the poor Marcus was defending himself from 



252 8IDONIA THE SORCERESS 



a robber who had rushed at him with a dagger, she crept 
along upon the ground, and lifted her great knife to plunge 
into his side. 

Just then, like a messenger from God, comes the stout 
Dinnies Kleist, galloping up to the rescue ; for after he had 
ridden a good piece upon the homeward road, he stopped 
his horse to empty the water out of his large jack-bootf» 
for there it was plumping up and down, and he was still 
far from Falkenwald« While one of his men emptied the 
boots, another wandered through the wood picking the wild 
strawberries, that blushed there as red as scarlet along the 
ground* 

While he was so bent down close to the earth, the shriekf 
of my gracious lady reached his ear, upon which he ran to 
tell his master, who listened likewise ; and finding they pro- 
ceeded from the very direction where he had left the bridal 
pair, he suspected that some evil had befallen them* So 
springing into his saddle, he bade his fellows mount with all 
speed, and dashed back to the spot where they had left the 
carriage. 

Marcus was just now fainting from loss of blood, and his 
weary hand could scarcely hold the sword, while his frame 
swayed back and forwardi, as if he were near falling to the 
ground. The gipsy hag was close beside him, with her arm 
extended, ready to plunge the knife into his side, when the 
heavy stroke of a sword came down on it, and arm and knife 
fell together to the ground, and Dinnies shouting, Jodute I 
Jodutc ! ** swung round his sword a second time, and the head 
of the robber carl fell upon the arm of the hag. Then he 
dashed round on his good horse to the other side of the 
carriage, hewed right and left among the stupid fools who 
were scraping up the gold, while his fellows chased them into 
the wood, so that the alarmed band left all this booty, and 
ran in every direction to hide themselves in the forest. In 
vain Johann roared, and shouted, and swore, and opposed 



SfDONJA THE SORCERESS 253 

himself single-handed to the knight's followers. He received 
a blow that sent him flying, too, after his band, and Sidonia 
;ilong with him, so that none but the dead remained around 
the carriage. 

Thus did the brave Dinnies Kleist and Marcus Bork save 
the Prince and his bride, like true knights as they were ; but 
Marcus is faint, and leans for support against the carriage, 
while before him lie three robber carls whom he had slain 
with his own hand, although he fought there only in his shirt ; 
but the blessed cross had been his shield. And there, too, 
lay the gipsy's arm with the knife still clutched in the hand, 
but the hag herself had fled away; and round the brave 
Dinnies was a circle of dead men, seven in number, whom 
he and his followers had killed ; and the earth all round 
looked like a npe strawberry field, it was so red with blood. 

One can imagine what joy filled the hearts of the princely 
j>air, when they found that all their peril was past. They 
alighted from the coach, and when the Princess saw Marcus 
lying there in a dead faint, with his garment all covered 
with blood, she lamented loudly, and tore off her own veil 
to bind up his wounds, and brought wine from the carriage, 
which she poured herself through his lips, like a merciful 
Samaritan ; and when he at last opened his eyes, and kissed 
the little hands of the Princess out of gratitude, she rejoiced 
greatly. And the Prince himself ran to the wood for the 
)x>rtmanteau, which they found behind the oak, and helped 
to dress the poor knight, who was so weak that he could not 
raise a finger. 

Then they lifted him into the coach, while the Prince 
comforted him, saying, he trusted that he would soon be well 
again, for he would pray daily to the Lord Jesus for him, whose 
blessed cross had been their protection, and that he should have 
all his gold again, and the lands of Crienke in addition. So 
faithful a vassal must never be parted from his Prince, for 
inasmuch as he hated Sidonia, so he loved and praised hinu 



254 BIÜONlA THE SOKCERESS 



They were like the two Judascs in Scripture, of whotn some 
one had said, ** What one gave to the devil, the other brought 
back to God" 

And now he saw the wonderful hand of God in all ; for if 
it had not rained, the powder of the robber-band woidd have 
been dry, and then they were all lost. //^m, the knight 
would not have stopped to empty his boots, and they never 
would have heard the screams of his dear wife, //m, if he 
had himself not forgotten the date, he would never have driven 
up close to the cross, which cross had saved them all, but, in 
particular, saved their dear Marcus, after a miraculous manner. 
"Look how the blessed wood is everywhere pierced with 
spears, and yet we are all living ! Therefore let us hope in 
the Lord, for He is our helper and defender ! " 

Then the Duke turned to the stout Dinnies, and prayed him 
to enter his service, but in vain, for he was sworn vassal to hit 
Highness of Stettin. So his Grace took off his golden collar, 
and put it on his neck, and the Princess drew off her diamond 
ring to give him, whereupon her spouse laughed heartily, and 
asked. Did she think the good knight had a finger for her little 
ring ? To which she replied, But the brave knight may have 
a dear wife who could wear it for her sake, for he must not 
go without some token of her gratitude. 

However, the knight put back the ring himself, saying that 
he had no spouse, and would never have one ; therefore the 
ring was useless. So the Princess wonders, and asks why he 
will have no spouse ; to which he replied, that he feared the 
fate of Samson, for had not love robbed him of his strength ? 
He, too, might meet a Delilah, who would cut off his long hair. 
T'hcn riding up close to the carriage, he removed his jilumcd hat 
from his head, and down fell his long black hair, that wat 
gathered up under it, over his shoulders like a veil, even till 
it swept the flanks of his horse. Would not her Grace think 
it a grief and sorrow if a woman sheared those locks ? In such 
pleasant discourse they reached Mutzelburg, where, as the good 



SIDONIA THE SOUCERESS 



^55 



Marcus was so weak, they resolved to put up for the night, 
and send for a chirurgeon instantly to Uckermund. And so 
it was done. 

CHAPTER XL 

Of the ambassadors In the tavern of Mutzelburg — Item^ how 
the miller^ Konnemann^ is discovered^ and made by Dinnies 
Kleist to act as guide to the robber cave^ where they find all 
the women-f(dk lying apparently dead^ throt^h some deviP s 
magic of the gipsy mother. 

When their Highnesses entered the inn at Mutzelburg, they 
found it filled with burghers and peasants out of Uckermund, 
Pasewalk, and other adjacent places, on their way to Stettin, 
to petition his Grace the Duke to open the courts of justice, 
for thieves and robbers had so multiplied throughout the land, 
that no road was safe ; and all kinds of witchcraft, and im- 
posture, and devil's work were so rife, that the poor people were 
plagued out of their lives, and no redress was to be had, seeing 
his Grace had closed all the courts of justice. Forty burghers 
had been selected to present the petition, and great was the joy 
to meet now with his Grace Prince Ernest, for assuredly he 
would give them a letter to his illustrious brother, and strengthen 
the prayer of their petition. The Prince readily promised to 
do this, particularly as his own life and that of his bride had 
just been in such sore peril, all owing to the obstinacy of his 
Grace of Stettin in not opening the courts. 

Meanwhile the leech had visited good Marcus Bork, who 
was much easier after his wounds were dressed, and promised 
to do well, to the great joy of their Graces ; and Dinnies 
Kleist went to the stable to see afler his horse, there being 
so many there, in consequence of this gathering of envoys, 
that he feared they might fight. Now» as he passed through 
the kitchen, the knight observed a man bargaining with the 



2^6 



SIDONIA THK SORCERESS 



innkeeper ; and he had a kettle before him, into which he 
was cramming szxmgcn, bread, ham, and all »ort» of eatablef* 
But he would have taken no further heed, only that the carl 
had but one tail to hi* coat, which made the knight at once 
recognise him a« the very fellow whofe coat-tail he had hewed 
off in the forest. He fprang on him, therefore $ and ai the 
man drew hif knife, Dinnief seized hold of him and plumped 
him down, head foremoft, into a hogshead of water, holding 
him straight up by the feet till he had drunk his fill. So the 
poor wretch began to quiver at last in his death agonies f 
whereu[X)n the knight called out, <<Wilt thou confess? or 
hast thou not drunk enough yet ? 

He would confess, if the knight promised him life. His 
name was Konnemann ; he had lost his mill and all he was 
worth, by the Loitz bankruptcy, therefore had joined the 
robber-band, who held their meeting in an old cave in the 
forest, where also they kept their booty/' On further 
question, he said it was an old, ruined place, with the walls all 
tumbling down. A man named Muckerwit/x; liad lived there 
once, who Imried his wife alive in this cave, therefore it had 
l)een deserted ever since. 

Then the knight asked the innkee|>er if he knew of such 
a place in the forest ; who said, " Ves." 'I'hen he asked if he 
knew this fellow, Konnemann ; but the host denied all know- 
ledge of him (though he knew him well enough, I think )« 
Upon which Konnemann said, ''That he merely came to 
buy provisions for the Iwml, who were hungry, and had 
despatched him to see what he could gcrt, while they remained 
hiding in the cave. The knight having laid these facts before 
their (traces and the envoys, it was agreed that they should 
steal a march upn the robl)ers next morning, and meanwhile 
keq) Konnenvmn safe under lock and key. 

Next morning they set off by break of day, taking Kon- 
nemann as guide, and surroun(led the old ruin, which lay 
u|)on a hill buried in oak-trees ; but not a sound was heard 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 257 



inside. They approached nearer — ^listened at the cave — 
nothing was to be heard. This angered Dinnies Kleist, for 
he thought the miller had played a trick on them, who, 
however, swore he was innocent ; and as the knight threat- 
ened to give him something fresh to drink in the castle well, 
he offered to light a pine torch and descend into the cave. 
Hardly was he down, however, when they heard him scream- 
ing — «* The robbers have murdered the women — they are all 
lying here stone dead, but not a man is to be seen." 

The knight then went down with his good sword drawn. 
True enough, there lay the old hag, her daughter, and Si- 
donia, all stained with faJood, and stiff and cold, upon the damp 
ground. And when the knight asked, Which is Sidonia ? " 
the fellow put the pine torch close to her face, which was 
blue and cold. Then the knight took up her little hand, 
and dropped it again, and shook his head, for the said little 
hand was stiff and cold as that of a corpse. 

Summa. — As there was nothing further to be done here, 
the knight left the corpses to moulder away in the old cellar, 
and returned with the burghers to Mutzelburg, when his 
Highness wondered much over the strange event ; but Marcus 
rejoiced that his wicked cousin was now dead, and could 
bring no further disgrace upon his ancient name. 

But was the wicked cousin dead ? She had heard every 
word that had been said in the cave ; for they had all drunk 
some broth made by the gipsy mother, which can make men 
seem dead, though they hear and see everything around them. 
Such devil's work is used by robbers sometimes in extremity, 
as some toads have the power of seeming dead when people 
attempt to seize them. It will soon be seen what a horrible 
use Sidonia made of this devil's potion. 

Wherefore she tried its effect upon herself now, I know 
not — I have my own thoughts upon the subject — but it is 
certain that the innkeeper, who was a secret friend of the 
robbers (as most innkeepers were in those evil times), had 

VOL. I. R 



2SH 



HIDONIA IHK SORCKKKS8 



M*nt a mtffffcngcr by night to warn them of their danger* Ho, 
while the bind «aved theniMrlves by hiding in the fore«t, per- 
haps the old hag recommended thi» plan for the women, m 
they had got enough of cold »teel the day Ixrfore ; or per- 
hap« the robber« winhed to have a proof of the power of thif 
draughty in caM* they might want to «ave thenuelvcf, fomc 
time or other, by appearing dead« Still I cannot, with any 
certainty, aiwert why they «hould all three choo«e to simulate 
death« 

Further, junt to «how the daring of theie robber-bands, 
now that his Highness had closed the courts, I shall end 
this chapter by relating what happened at Monkbude, a town 
through which their Highnesses passed that same day, and 
which, although close to the Stettin border, belongs to 
Wol^jast. 

It was Sunday, and after the ];riest had said Amen from 
the pulpit, the sexton rung the kale-belL '^I'his lx;ll was a 
sign thr<nighout all Pomerania land, to the women-folk who 
were left at home in the houses, to prepare dinner ; for then, 
in all the churches, the closing hymn Ixrgan — *<Give u«, 
f.ord, our daily bread," So the maid, at the first stroke of 
the bell, lifted off the kale-pot from the fire, and had the 
kale dished, with the sausages, and whatever else was want- 
ing, by the time that the hymn was over, and father and 
mother had come out of church* Then, whatever poor 
wretch had fasted all the week, and never tasted a morsel of 
blessed breads if he passed on a Sunday through the town, 
might get his fill ; for when the hymn is sung, " Give us, 
Lord, our daily bread," the doors lie open, and no stranger 
or wayfarer is turned away empty. 

Just before their Highnesses had entered the town, this 
kale-l)e]l had been rung, and each maid in the houses had 
laid the kale and meat upon the table, ready for the family, 
when, behold ! in rush a troop of robbers from the forcttf 
Appelmann at their head — seize every dish with the kale 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



and meat that had been laid on the tables, stick the loaves 
into their pockets, and gallop away as hard as they can 
across into the Stettin border. 

How the maids screamed and lamented I leave uns;ud ; 
but if any one of them followed and seized a robber by the 
hair, he drew his knife, so she was glad enough to run back 
again, while the impudent troop laughed and jeered. Thus 
was it then in dear Pomerania land ! It seemed as if God 
had forsaken them ; for the nobles began their feuds, as of 
old, and the Jews were tormented even to the death — yea, 
even the pastors were chased away, as if, indeed, they had 
all learned of Otto Bork, these nobles saying, What need 
of these idle, prating swaddlers, with their prosy sermons 
an<i whining psalms, teaching, forsooth, that all men are 
equal, and that God makes no difference between lord and 
peasant ? Away with them ! If the people learn such doc- 
trine, no wonder if they grow proud and disobedient — better 
no priests in the land.'* And such-like ungodly talk was 
heard everywhere. 

CHAPTER XIL 

How the peasants in Marienfiess want to hum a witch^ but 
are hindered by Johann A^ehmamm and Stdoma^ who 
discover an old acquaintance in tie witch^ the girl Wolde 
Albrechts* 

At this time, one David Grosskopf was pastor of Marien- 
fliess. He was a learned and pious man, and like other pious 
priests, was in the habit of gathering all the women-folk of 
the parish in his study of a winter^s evening, particularly the 
young maidens, with their spinning-wheels. And there they 
all sat spinning round the comfortable fire, while he read out 
to them from God's Word, and questioned them on it, and 
exhorted them to their duties. Thus was it done every even- 



260 SinONIA TMK SORCKRKSS 



ing durin/' th<? winter, the maidens spinning dili/^rntly till 
nii<ini);ht without even growing weary ; or if one of them 
nodded, Mhe wafi given a cup of cold water to drink, to make 
h(rr frewh again. Ho there was plenty of fine linen by each 
New Vear'u day, and their ma»ter» were well plca»cd. No 
peasant kc\it Win daughter at home, but tent her to the priest^ 
where »he learned her dutien, and was kc\)t »afe from the 
young men. ICven old mothem went there, among whom 
Trinkt Bergen always gave the best answers, and was much 
commended by the priest in conse(]uence. TWih pl(*ased her 
mightily, so that she Iwasted everywhere of it; but withal 
she was an excellent old woman, only the neighbours looked 
rather jealously on her. 

This mmc priest, with all his goodness and learning, wa« 
yet a bad logician ; for by his careless speaking in one of hit 
sermons, much commotion was raised in the village. In 
this sermon he asserted that anything out of the usual course 
of nature must be devil's work, and ought to be held in 
al)horrence by all good Christians : he suffered for this after- 
wards, its we shall see. On the Monday after this discourse^ 
he journeyed into I'oland, to visit a brother who dwelt in 
some town there, I know not which. 

Then arose a great talking amongst the villagers concerning 
the said Trina Bergen ; for the cocks txrgan to sit upon the 
eggs in place of the hens, in her poultry- yard, and all the 
|>eople came together to see the miracle, am! as it was against 
the course of nature, it must be devil's work, and Trina 
Bergen was a witch. 

In vain the old mother protested she knew nothing of it, 
then runs to the priest's house, but he is away ; from that to 
the mtyor of the village, but he is going out to shoot, and 
Ind her and the villagers |)ack off with their silly stories. 

So the |K)or old mother gets no help, and meanwhile the 
peasants storm her house, and search and rans;u:k every 
corner for proofs of her witchcraft, Init nothing can be found. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 261 



Stay ! there in the cellar sits a woman» who will not tell her 
nanie. 

They drag her out, bring her up to the parlour, while the 
old mother sits wringing her hands. Who was this woman ? 
and how did she come into the cellar ? 

Illiu — She had hired her to spin, because her daughter 
was out at service till autumn, and she could not do all the 
work herself." 

«*Why then did she sit in the cellar, as if she shunned 
the light?" 

Ilhu — " The girl had prayed for leave to sit there, because 
the screaming of the young geese in the yard disturbed her ; 
besides, she had been only two days with her." 

" But who in the devil*s name was the girl ? It was easy 
to see she had bewitched the hens, for everything against the 
course of nature must be devil's work." 

/fik — "Ah, yes! this must be the truth. Let them 
chase the devil away. Now she saw why the girl would 
not sit in the light, and had refused to enter the blessed 
church with her the day before.*' 

" What was her name ? They should both be sent to the 
devil, if she did not tell the girl's name." 

Ilia. — "Alas! she had forgotten it, but ask herself. 
Her story was, that she had been married to a peasant in 
Usdom, who died lately, and his relations then turned her 
out, that she was now going to Daber, where she had a 
brother, a fisher in the service of the Dewitz family, and 
wanted to earn a travelling penny by spinning, to convey her 
there." 

Now as the rumour of witchcraft spread through the 
\-illage, all the people ran together, firom every part, to Trina's 
house. And a pale young man pressed forward from amongst 
the crowd, to look at the supposed witch. When he stood 
before her, the girl cast down her eyes gloomily, and he 
cried out, ^*It is she! it is the very accursed witch who 



266 81DONIA THE SORCERESS 



indeed^ he had forgotten yesterday to propose it to them. 
The plan was this. They were to tie her up in a leathern 
sacky with a dog, a cock, and a cat. (Ah, what a pity he 
had killed the wild-cat which he had caught some week« 
before in the fox-trap. ) Then they would throw all into the 
lake, where the cat and dog, and cock and witch, would scream 
and fight, and bite and scratch, until they sank ; but after a 
little while up would come the sack again, and the screaming, 
biting, and fighting would be renewed until they all sank down 
again and for ever. Sometimes, indeed, they would tear a hole 
in the sack, which filled with water, and so they were all 
drowned. In any case it was a fine improving lesson to their 
children ; let them ask the schoolmaster if the sacking was 
not a far better spectacle for the dear children than the 
burning." 

"Ay, 'tis true," cried the schoolmaster; ** sacking is 
better." 

Upon which all the people shouted after him, " Ay, sack 
her ! sack her ! " 

When the knave heard this, he continued — 

"Now, they heard what the schoolmaster said, but he 
could not do all this for a sack of oats, for, indeed, leather 
sacks were very dear just now ; but if each one added a sack 
of meal and a goose at Michaelmas, why, he would try and 
manage the sacking. The lake was broad and deep, and it 
lay right beneath them, so that all the dear children could sec 
the sight from the hill." 

However, the peasants would by no means agree to the 
sack of meal, whereupon a great dispute arose around the pile, 
and a bargaining about the price with great tumult and 
uproar. 

Now the robber-band were in the vicinity, and Sidonia, hear- 
ing the noise, peeped out through the bushes and recognised 
Anna Wolde ; then, guessing from the pile what they were 
going to do to her, she begged of Johann to save the poor girl, 



SmONIA THE SORCERESS »6? 



if possible ; for Sidonia and the knave were now on the best of 
terms, since he had chased away the gipsy hag and her daughter 
for robbing him. 

So Johann gives the word, and the band, which now num- 
bered one hundred strong, burst forth from the wood with wild 
shouts and cries. Ho ! how the people fled on all sides, like 
chaff before the wind ! The executioner is the first off, throws 
away his pan of coals, and takes to his heels. Item^ the 
schoolmaster, with all his school, take to their heels ; the sheriff, 
the women, peasants, spectators — all, with one accord, take to 
their heels, screaming and roaring. 

The witch alone remains, for she is lame and cannot run ; 
but she screams, too, and wrings her hands, crying — 

" Take me with you ; oh, take me with you ; for the love 
of God take me with you ; I am lame and cannot run ! " 

Summa, — One can easily imagine how it all ended. The 
witch-girl was saved, and, as she now owed her life a second 
time to Sidonia, she swore eternal fidelity and gratitude to the 
lady, promising to give her something in recompense for all 
the benefits she had conferred on her. Alas, that I should 
have to say to Christian men what this was ! * . 

And when Sidonia asked how things went on in Daber, 
great was her joy to hear that the whole castle and town were 
full of company, for the nuptials of Clara von Dewitz and 
Marcus Bork were celebrated there. And the old Duchess 
from Wolgast had arrived, along with Duke Johann Frede- 
rick, and the Dukes Barnim, Casimir, and BogislafF. //m, 
a grand cavalcade of nobles had ridden to the wedding upon 
four hundred horses, and lords and ladies from all the 
country round thronged the castle. 

Now Johann Appelmann would not credit the witch-girl, 
for he had seen none of all this company upon the roads ; but 
she said her brother the fisherman told her that their Graces 

* Namely, the evil spirit Chim. Sec Sidonia's confession upon the 
rack, vol iv. Dähnert's Pomeranian Library, p. 244. 



268 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



travelled by water as far a< Wollin, for fear of the robbersy and 
from thence by land to Daber. 

When Sidonia heard this she fell upon Johannis neck, 
exclaiming — 

" Revenge me now, Johann 1 revenge me 1 Now is the 
time ; they are all there. Revenge me in their blood I " 

This seemed rather a difficult matter to Johann, but he 
promised to call together the whole band, and see what could 
be done. 80 he went his way to the band, and then the evil- 
minded witch-girl began again, and told Sidonia, that if she 
chose to burn the castle at Daber, and make an end of all 
her enemies at once, there was some one hard by in the bush 
who would help her, for he was stronger than all the band 
put together. 

Il/a, — "Who was her friend? Let her go and bring 
him." 

Hac. — " She must first cross her hand with gold, and give 
a piece of money for him ; * then he would come and revenge 
her." 

iSidonia's eyes now sparkled wildly, and she ]mt some money 
in the woman's hand, who murmured, " I*' or the evil one ; " 
then step|xrd behind a tree, and returned in a short time with 
a black cat wrapped up in her apron. 

" This," she said, " was the strong spirit Chim.f F ^et her 
give him plenty to eat, but show him to no one. When she 
wanted his assistance, strike him three times on the head, and 
he would assume the form of a man. Strike him six times to 
restore him again to this form." 

Now Sidonia would scarcely credit this ; so, looking round 
to see if they were quite alone, she struck the animal three times 
on the head, who instantly started up in the form of a gay young 

♦ According to the witches, every evil spirit must \Mt purchased, no 
matter how nmall the price, Iwt something nn«t Ix; givctn-^ Ijall of 
worsted, a kerciiief, &c. 

t Joachim. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS »69 



man, with red stockings, a black doublet, and cap with stately 
heron's plumes. 

" Yes, yes," he exclaimed, " I know thy enemies, and 
will revenge thee, beautiful child. I will burn the castle of 
Daber for thee, if thou wilt only do my bidding ; but now, 
quick! strike me again on the head, that I may reassume 
my original form, for some one may see us ; and put me in 
a basket, so can I travel with thee wheresoever thou goest." 

And thus did Sidonia with the evil spirit Chim, as she 
afterwards confessed upon the rack, when she was a horrible 
old hag of eighty-four years of age. 

And he went with her everywhere, and suggested all the 
evil to her which she did, whereof we shall hear more in 
another place.* 

CHAPTER XIII. 

Of the adwnhire with the boundary ladt^ and how one of them 
promises to adnut Jobann Appelmann into the castle of 
Daber that same night — //«w, of what befell amongst the 
guests at the castle. 

When Johann and Sidonia proposed to the band that they 
should pillage the castle of Daber, they all shouted with 
delight, and swore that life and limb might be perilled, but 
the castle should be theirs that night. Nevertheless my 
knave Johann thought it a dangerous undertaking, for they 

* Dähnert — Tbis belief in the power of evil spirits to assume the 
form of animals, comes to us from remotest antiquity— example, the 
serpent in Paradise. In all religions, and amongst all nations, this 
l>elief seems firmly rooted ; but even if we do not see a visi^U dcx-il, do 
w-e not. alas ! know and fieel that there is one ever with us, ever pre- 
sent, ever suggesting all wickedness to us, as this devil to Sidonia?— 
e\-en our own evil nature. For what else is the Christian life, but a 
wnvrfare lietween the divine v^ithin us and this ever-present Satan ?^ 
and through God*s grace alone can we resist this devii^ 



2^o SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



knew no one inside the walls, and Anna Wolde, the witch, 
could not come with them, seeing that she was lame. So at 
last he thought of sending Konnemann disguised as a beggar, 
to examine the courtyard and all the out offices — ^perchance 
he might spy out some unguarded door by which they could 
efTect an entrance. 

Then Sidonia said she would go too, and although Johann 
tried hard to persuade her, yet she begged so earnestly for 
leave that finally he consented. Yes, she must see the rery 
spot where the viper was hatched which had stung her to 
death. Ah, she would brew something for her in return ; 
pity only that the wedding was over, otherwise the little bride 
should never have touched a wedding-ring, if she could help 
it ; but it was too late now." 

So the three Satan's children slipped out upon the high- 
way from the wood, and travelled on so near to the castle 
that the noise, and talking, and laughing, and barking of dogs, 
and neighing of horses, were all quite audible to their ears. 

Now the castle of Daber is built upon a hill which is 
entirely surrounded by water, so that the castle can be 
approached only by two bridges-— one southwards, leading 
from the town ; the other eastwards, leading direct through 
the castle gardens. The castle itself was a noble, lofty pile, 
with strong towers and spires — almost as stately a building as 
my gracious lord's castle at Saatzig. 

When Johann observed all this, his heart failed him, and 
as he and his two companions peeped out at it from behind 
a thorn-bush, they agreed that it would be hard work to take 
such a castle, garrisoned, as it was now, by four hundred 
men or more, with their mere handful of partisans. 

But Satan knows how to help his own, for what happened 
while they were crouching there and arguing ? Behold, the 
old Dewitz, as an offering to the church at Daber upon hb 
daughter's marriage, had promised twenty good acres of land 
to be added to the glebe. And he comes now up the bUlf 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 271 



with a great crowd of men to dig the boundary. So the 
Satan's children behind the thorn-bush feared they would be 
discovered; but it was not so, and the crowd passed on 
unheeding them. 

Old Dewitz now called the witnesses, and bid them take 
note of the position of the boundary. There where the hill, 
the wild apple-tree, and the town tower were all in one line, 
was the limit ; let them keep this well in their minds. Then 
calling over six lads, he bid them take note likewise of the 
boundary, that when the old people were dead they might 
stand up as witnesses; but as such things were easily for- 
gotten, he, the priest, and the churchwarden would write it 
down for them, so that it never, by any chance, could escape 
their memory. 

Upon which the good knight, being lord and patron, took 
a stout stick the first, and cudgelled the young lads well, 
asking them between terms — 

" Where is the boundary ? " 

To which they answered, screaming and roaring — 

" Where the hiU, the apple-tree, and the town tower are 
all in one line." 

Then the knight, laughing, handed over the stick to the 
priest, saying— 

"It was still possible they might forget; they better, 
therefore, have another little memorandum from his rever- 
ence." 

" No ! no ! " screamed the boys, " we will remember it to 
eternity." 

However, his reverence just gave them a little touch of 
the stick in fun, till they roared out the boundary marks a 
second time. 

But now stepped forth the churchwarden, to take his turn 
with the stick on the boys' backs. This man had been a 
forester of the old Baron Dewitz, and had often taken note 
of one of the young fellows present, how he had poached and 



272 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



stolen the buck-wheat, so he gUdly «eijx^i thw opjMrtunity to 
punish him for all his misileeds, and laying the euilgel on his 
shoulders, thrashed and belaboureil him sii unmercifully, thiit 
the lad ran, shrieking, cursing, howling, and roaring, far away 
in amongst the bushes to hide himself, while the churchwarden 
cried out — 

«« Well ! it" all the other lads forget the boundary, I think 
my fine fellow here will bear the memoranvium to the day of 
judgment." 

And so they went away laughing from the place, and re- 
turned to the castle. 

But the devil drew his profit from all this, for where 
should the lad run to, but close to the very spot where the 
robbers were hiding, and there he threw himself down upon 
the grass, writhing and howling, and swearing he would be 
revenged upon the churchwarden. This is a fine hearing for 
my knave in the bush, so he ote^M forward, and asks— 

What vile Josel had dared to ill-treat so brave a youth ? 
He would help him to a revenge upon the base knave, for in- 
justice was a thing he never could suffer. The tears really 
were in his eyes to think that such wickedness should be in 
the world ; " and here he pretended to wipe his eyes. 

So the lad, being quite overcome by such compassionate 
sympathy, howled and cried ten times more — 

It was the forester Kell, the shameless hound ; but he 
would play him a trick for it." 

Ille, — " K.ight. He owed the fellow a drubbing already 
himself, and now he would have a double one, if he could 
only get hold of him." 

Hie. — ''He would run and tell him that a great lord 
wanted to 8j)eak to him here in the forest." 

Jlle, — <' No, no ; that would scarcely answer ; but where 
did the fellow live ? " 

Hie. — *• In the castle, where his father lived likewise." 

//Ar._*< Who was his father ? " 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 273 



Hic\ — " His father was the steward," 

Ille, — " Ah, then, he kept the keys of the castle ? " 

Hie, — "Oh yes, and the key of the back entrance also, 
which led through the gardens. His father kept one key, 
and the gardenor the other." 

Ille. — "Well, he would tell him a secret. This very 
Kell had deceived him once, like a knave as he was, and he 
was watching to punish him, but he daren't go up to the 
castle in the broad daylight, particularly now while the 
wedding was going on. How long would it last ? " 

Hlc. — " For three days more ; it had lasted three days 
already, and the castle was full of company, and great lords 
from all the country round, a great deal grander even than old 
Dewitz, were there," 

Ille. — "Well, then, it would be quite impossible to go 
up to the castle and flog the churchwarden before all the 
company — he could see that himself. But supposing he let 
him in at night through the garden door, couldn't they get 
the knave out on some pretence, and then drub him to their 
heart's content ? " 

So the lad was delighted with the plan, particularly on 
hearing that he was to help in the drubbing ; but then if the 
forester recognised him, what was to be done ? he would be 
ruined. To which Johann answered — 

"Just put on an old cloak, and speak no word; then, 
neither by dress nor voice will he know thee; besides, the 
night will be quite dark, so fear nothing. We'll teach him, 
I engage, how to beat a fine young fellow again, or to rob 
me of my gold, as he did, the base, unworthy knave." 

Here the lad laughed outright with joy. " Yes, yes, that 
would just do ; and he could put on his father's old mantle, 
and bring a stout crab-stick along with him," 

Ille. — " All right, young firiend ; but how was he to get 
into the castle garden ? Was there not a drawbridge which 
was lifted every night ? " 

VOL. I. s 



274 SIDONIA THK SORCERESS 



Hie, — "Oh yci} but hi» father very often «cot him to 
draw it up» and he could leave it down for to-night; then 
he would get the forester, by some meann, into the shrubbery, 
where it wa« dark a« pitch, and they could thrash the dog 
there without any one knowing a word about it/^ 

nie» — Good ! Then when the tower-clock struck nine, 
let him come himself and admit him into the garden — time 
enough after to run for the forester, while he was hiding 
himself in the shrubbery, for no one must know a word 
about his being there/' Then he gave the lad a knife, and 
told him if all turned out well he should have a piece of 
gold in addition. "Ah! they would give him a warm 
greeting, this dog of a forester ! But after he had called 
him out, the lad must pretend as if he had nothing to do 
with the matter, and go back to the house, or slip down 
some by-path." 

So the lad jumped with joy when he got hold of the 
knife, and skipped off to the castle, promising to be at the 
drawbridge when nine o'clock struck from the tower, to 
admit his good friend into the garden. 

Meanwhile my gracious Lady of Wolgast was making 
preparations for her departure on the morrow from the castle, 
for she had been attending the wedding festivities with her 
four sons, and Ulrich, the Grand Chamberlain ; but previous 
to taking leave of her dear son, Duke Johann Frederick, she 
wished to make one more attem{>t to induce him to take off 
the interdict from the country, and allow the courts of justice 
to be re-opened, for thus would the land be freed from these 
wild hordes who haunted every road, and filled all hearti 
with fear. 

Vov this purpose she went up to his own private chamber 
in the castle, bringing old Ulrich along with her ; and when 
they entered, old Ulrich, having closed the door, began— 
" Now, gracious lady, speak to your son as befits a mother 
and your princely Grace to do." 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 275 



Upon which he took his seat at the table, looking around 
him as sour as a vinegar-cruet. 

80 the Duchess lifted up her voice with many tears, and 
prayed his Highness of Stettin to stem all this violence that 
raged in the land, as a loving Prince and father towards his 
subjects. He had resisted all her entreaties until now, with 
those of his dear brothers and old Ulrich ; and had not even 
Iiis host and the whole nobility tried to soften his heart to- 
wards his people, who were suffering by his hard resolve? 
But surely he would not refuse her now, for she had come 
to take her leave of him, and had brought his old guardian 
and his brothers to plead along with her ; besides, who knew 
what might happen next ? For she heard, to her astonish- 
ment, that Sidonia was not dead at all, as they supposed, 
but nximing through the country with her accursed paramour. 
Had she known this, never would she have permitted this 
long journey, dear even as the bride was to her heart, but 
would have stayed at Wolgast to watch over her heart's dear 
son, Ernest, and his young spouse, who rightly feared to put 
themselves in danger again, after the sore peril they had 
encountered in the Stettin forest ; and who knew what might 
happen to her on the journey homeward? for if she En- 
countered Sidonia, what could she expect from her but (he 
bitterest death? (weeping.) Ah, this all came upon them 
because the young Duke had despised the admonitions of his 
blessed father upon his death-bed, and thought not of that 
Scripture which saith, *<The father's blessing buildeth the 
children's houses, but the curse of the mother pulleth them 
down." ^ She had never cursed him yet, but that day might 
come. 

Then Duke Johann answered, <<He was sad to see his 
darling mother chafe and fret about these same courts of 
justice, but his princely honour was pledged, and he could 
not retract one word until the states came back to their duty, 
* Strach iii. 11. 



276 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



and gave him the gold he demanded. For how could he 
stand before the world as a fool ? He had begun this castle 
of Friedrichswald, and had ordered all kinds of statues, 
paintings, &c., from Italy, for which gold must be paid. 
How, then, if he had none ? " 

"But those were idle follies," his mother answered, 
"and showed how true were the words of Solomon — 
* When a prince wanteth understanding, there is great op- 
pression.' " * 

Here the Duke grew angry. " It was false ; he did not 
want undersunding. Well it was that no one had dared 
to say this to him but his mother." 

But my gracious lady could not hear him plainly ; for his 
Serene Highness, Barnim the younger, who had drunk rather 
freely at dinner, began to snore so loudly, that he snored 
away a paper which lay before old Ulrich, upon which he 
had been sketching a list of propositiont for the reconciliation 
of the Duke and the estates of the kingdom. 

Hereupon the old chamberlain cursed and swore — " May 
the seven thousand devils take them! One snarls at his 
mother, and the other snores away his paper! Did the 
Prince think that Pomerania was like Saxony, when he beggn 
these fine buildings at Friedrichswald? His Grace had a 
house at Stettin ; what did he want with a second ? Was 
his Grace better than his forefathers ? And would not his 
Grace have Oderburg when old Duke Barnim died? and 
castles and towns all round the land ? " 

But the Duke answered proudly, "That Ulrich should 
rennember hit guardianship had ended. He knew himself 
what to do and what to leave undone." 

Herewith the young Lord BogislafF broke in — *«Yet, 
dearest brother, be advised by us. Bethink you how I re- 
signed my chance of the duchy at the Diet of Wollin, and 
now I am ready to give you up the annuity which I then 
* I'rov, xxvin. x6. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 277 



received, if it will help your necessities, and that you promise 
thereupon to release the land from the interdict, that all this 
fearful villainy and lawlessness which is devastating the 
country may have an end." 

Ille. — " Matters were not so bad as he thought ; besides, 
why cannot the people defend themselves, and take care of 
their own skin ? " 

Hie, — " So they do ; but this only increased injustice and 
lawlessness." Then he related many examples of how the 
despairing people of the different towns had executed justice, 
after their own manner, upon the robbers who fell into their 
hands. In Stolpschen, for instance, three fellows had been 
caught plundering the corn, and the peasants nailed them 
up to a tree, and whipped them till they dropped down dead. 
Well might Satan laugh over the sin and wickedness that 
reigned now in poor Pomerania. 

Itenty he related how the peasants in Marienfliess were 
going to burn a witch, without trial or sentence, //rm, 
how many peasants and villagers had hung up their own 
bailiffs, or strangled them. Item^ how the priests had been 
chased away from many places, so that they now had to beg 
their bread upon the highway ; and in such towns God's 
service was no nK)re heard, but each one lived as it pleased 
him, and the peasants did as they chose. And now he 
would ask his heart's dear brother, which would be more 
upright and honourable in the sight of the great God — to 
build up this castle of Friedrichswald, or to let it fell, and 
build up the virtue and hapjuness of his people ? He could 
not build the castle without money, and he had none ; but he 
could restore his land to peace and happiness by a word. 
Let him, then, open these long-closed courts of justice, for 
this was his duty as a Prince ; and let him remember that 
every prince was ordained of God, and must answer to Him 
for his government. 

Hereupon the Stettin Duke made answer — "Pity, good 



278 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



BogislafF, thou wert not a village priest ! Hast thou finished 
thy sermon ? Truly thou wert never meant for a prince, as we 
heard from thy own lips, the day of the Diet at Wollin. Thou 
hast no sense of princely honour, I see, but I stand by mine ; 
and now, by my princely honour, I pledge my princely word, 
that, until the states give me the money, the land shall remain 
in all things as it is." 

Here old Ulrich sprang to his feet (while my gracious lady 
sobbed aloud), clapped the table, and roared — " Seven thou- 
sand devils, my lord ! are we to be robbed and murdered by 
those vile cut-throats that infest the land, and your Grace will 
fold your hands and do nothing, till they drive your Grace your- 
self out of the land, or run a s])ear through your body, as they 
would have done to your princely brother of Wolgast, only he 
had faithful vassals to defend him ? If it is so to be, then must 
the nobles make their petition to the Emperor, and we shall 
see if his Imperial Majesty cannot bring your Grace to reason, 
though your mother and we all have failed to move you." 

Here the little Casimir, who was playing with the paper 
which his brother had snored away, ran up to his mother, and 
pulling her by the gown, said, " Gracious lady mamma, what 
ails my brother, the Stettin Duke ? Is he drunk, too ? " 

At which they all laughed, except Duke Johann, who gave 
a kick to his little brother, and then strode out of the room, 
exclaiming, " Sooner my life than my honour; I shall stay here 
no longer to be tutored and lectured, but will take my journey 
homewards this very night." And so he departed, but by a 
small side-door, for old Ulrich had locked the chief door on 
entering. 

Now, indeed, her Grace wept bitterly : ah ! she thought the 
evil had left her house, which the fatal business at her wedding 
had wrought on it, when Dr. Martinus dropped the ring ; but, 
alas ! it was only beginning now ; and yet she could not curse 
him, for he was her son, and she had borne him in pain and 
sorrow. 



STDONIA THE SORCERESS 279 



Summa. — If many were displeased at these proceedings of 
his Grace, so also was the Lord God, as was seen clearly by 
many strange signs ; for on that same night Duke Barnim the 
elder died at Oderburg, and all the crosses, knobs, and spires 
throughout the whole town turned quite black, though they had 
only been newly gilded a year before, and no rain, lightning, 
or thunder had been observed.* 

But this was all clearly to show the anger of God over the 
sins of the young Duke, and by these signs He would admonish 
him to repentance, as a father might gently threaten a refractory 
child. As to what further happened his Grace when he went 
out by the little door, and the danger that befell him there, we 
shall hear more in another chapter. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

How the knave Appelmann seizes his Serene Eminence Duke 
Johann by the throaty and how his Grace and the whole 
castle are saved by Marcus Bork and his young bride 
Clara ; also^ how Sidonia at last is taken prisoner. 

The castle was now almost quite still, for as the festival had 
already lasted three days, the guests were pretty well tired of 
dancing and drinking, and most of them, like young Prince 
Barnim, had lain down to snore. Yet still there were many 
drinking in the great hall, or dancing in the saloon, for the 
fiddles fiddled away merrily until hx in the night. 

And it was a beautifid night this one ; not too dark, but 
starry, bright, and soft and still, so that Marcus and his young 
bride glided away from the dancing and drinking, to wander 
in the cool, fresh air of the shrubbery, before they retired to 
their chamber. So they passed down the broad path that led 

* The Duke died 29th September 1573, aged 7a years.— Micraelius^ 
369. 



28o SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



from the garden to the drawbridge by the water-mill, and seat- 
ing themselves on a bank under the shade of the trees, began to 
kiss and caress, as may well become a young bridal pair to do. 

Soon they heard nine o'clock strike from the town, and 
immediately after, stealthy footsteps coming along the 
shrubbery towards them. They held their breath, and 
remained quite still, thinking it was some half-drunken guest 
from the castle wandering this way ; but then the drawbridge 
was lowered, and three persons advanced to a youth, as they 
could see plainly. One said, <*Now?" to which another 
answered, " No, when I whistle ! He who had so asked, 
then went back again, but Sidonia and my knave came on 
with the boundary lad over the bridge (for, of course, every 
one will have guessed them) and entered the shrubbery where 
the young bridal pair were seated, but perfectly hidden, by 
reason of the darkness. 

The boundary lad would now have drawn up the bridge, 
but the knave hindered him — " Let him leave it down ; how 
would he escape else, if the carl roared, and all came running 
out of the castle to see what was the matter ? " Then Sidonia 
asked the boy, if he thought the castle folk would hear him ? 
To which he answered, no. They could thrash the hound 
securely, and he had brought a short cudgel with him for the 
purpose. Upon which my knave murmured to him, " Lead on, 
then ; I must get out of this dark place to see what I am about. 
And when we get to the end of it, do you run and bring him 
out here. Then we shall both pay him off bravely." 

So they crept on in the darkness towards the castle, but 
the young wedded pair had plenty of time to recognise both 
Sidonia and Appelmann by their voices. Therefore Marcus 
argued truly that the knave and his paramour could be about 
no good, for the whole land rang with their wickedness. 
And, no doubt, the band was in the vicinity, because Appel- 
mann had answered, " No, when I whistle 1 " 

So the good Marcus grew wroth over the villainy of this 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 281 



shameless pair, who had evidently resolved on nothing less 
than the destruction of the whole princely race, and even this 
castle of Daher was not to be spared, which belonged to his 
dear bride's father, so that their wicked purposes might be 
fulfilled. Then he whispered, did his dear wife know of any 
byway that led to the castle ? as she was born here, perhaps 
some such little path might be known to her, so that she 
would escape meeting the villain. And as she whispered in 
return, " Yes, there was such a path," he bid her run along 
it quick as thought, have all the bells rung when she reached 
the castle, and even the cannon fired, which was ready loaded 
for the farewell salute to the Lady of Wolgast on the morrow ; 
and to gather as many people together, of all stations and ages, 
as could be summoned on the instant, and let them shout 
" Murder ! murder ! " Meanwhile he would run and draw 
up the bridge, then track the fellow along the shrubbery, and 
seize him if possible. 

How Clara trembled and hesitated, as a young girl might ; 
but soon collecting herself, she said, although with much 
agitation, ** I will trust in God : the Lord is my strength, of 
whom then should I be afraid ? " and plunged alone into the 
darkest part of the shrubbery. 

Marcus instantly ran down to the garden door, and began 
to draw up the bridge with as little noise as possible. " What 
are you doing ? " called out a voice to him from the other 
side. " I hear steps," he answered, " and perchance it is 
the castellan on his rounds ; he would discover all." So he 
draws up the bridge, and then glided along the shrubbery 
after my knave. 

Meanwhile Appelmann and Sidonia, with the boundary 
lad, had reached the door of the castle, through which he 
was determined to make good his enti'ance after the lad by 
any means. 

But at that very instant it opened, and my gracious lord 
Duke Johann Frederick stood before them. For it has 



282 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



been already roentioned, that he left the chamber in which 
the family council was held, by a small private door which 
led down to this portion of the castle. Here he was looking 
about for his court- jester, Clas Hinze, to bid him order 
the carriages to convey him and his suite that very night to 
Freienwald, and by chance opened this very door which led 
out to the shrubbery. 

Seeing no one from the darkness, the Duke called out, <* Is 
Clas there?" to which Appelmann answered, "Yes, my 
lord" (for he had recognised the Duke by his voice), and at 
the same time he retreated a few steps into the shrubbery, 
hoping the Duke would follow him. 

But the Duke called out again, " Where art thou, Clas ? " 
" Here ! " responded Appelmann, retreating still further. 
Whereupon the boundary lad whispered, " That is not him ! " 
His Grace, however, heard the whisper, and called out 
angrily, while he advanced from the door, " What meanest 
thou, knave ? It is I who call ! Art thou drunk, fool ? If 
so, thou must have a bucket of water on thy head, for we 
ride away this night." 

So speaking, his Highness went on still further into the 
shrubbery, upon which my knave makes a spring at his throat 
and hurls him to the ground, while he gives a loud, shrill 
whistle through the fingers of his other hand. Now the 
boundary lad screamed in earnest ; but Sidonia threatened him, 
and bade him hold his tongue, and run for the other fellows, 
and not mind them. But she screamed yet louder herself, 
when a powerful arm seized her round the waist, and she 
found herself in the grasp of Marcus Bork. 

Appelmann, who had stuffed his kerchief into the Duke's 
mouth to stifle his cries, and placed one knee upon his 
breast, now sprang up in terror at her scream, while at the 
same instant the bells rang, the cannon was fired, and all the 
court was filled with people shouting, " Murder ! murder ! 
So he let go his hold of the Duke, and without waiting to 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 283 



release Sidonia, darted down the shrubbery, reached the 
bridge, and finding it raised, plunged into the water, and 
swam to the other side. 

And here we see the hand of the all-merciful God ; for 
had the bridge been down, the band would have rushed over 
at their captain's whistle, and then, methinks, there would 
have been a sad end to the whole princely race, for, as I 
have said, half the guests were drunk and half were snoring, 
so that but for Marcus this evil and accursed woman would 
have destroyed them all, as she had sworn. True, they were 
destroyed by her at last, but not until God gave them over to 
destruction, in consequence of their sins, no doubt, and of the 
wickedness of the land. 

Summa. — ^When my gracious lord felt himself free, he 
sprang up, crying, " Help ! help ! " and ran as quick as he 
could back into the castle. Marcus Bork followed with 
Sidonia, who drew a knife to stab him, but he saw the glitter 
of the blade by the light of the lanterns (for one can easily 
imagine that the bells and the cannon had brought all the 
snorers to their legs), and giving her a blow upon the arm 
that made her drop the knife, dragged her through the little 
door, after the Duke, as fast as he was able. 

So the whole princely party stood there, and great and 
small shouted when the upright Marcus appeared, holding 
Sidonia firmly by the back, while she writhed and twisted, 
and kicked him with her heels till the sweat poured down 
his face. 

But when old Ulrich beheld her, he exclaimed, " Seven 
thousand devils ! — do my eyes deceive me, or is this Sidonia 
again ? " Her Grace, too, turned pale, and all were horrified 
at seeing the evil one, for they knew her wickedness. 

Then Marcus must relate the whole story, and how he 
came to bring to nought the counsel of the devil. 

And when Duke Johann heard the whole extent of the 
danger from which he had been saved, he fell upon the neck 



284 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



of the loyal Marcus, and, pressing him to his heart, ex- 
claimed, " Well-beloved Marcus, and dear friend, thou hast 
saved my brother of Wolgast in the Stettin forest, so hast 
thou saved me this night, therefore accept knighthood from 
my hands ; and I make thee governor of my fortress of 
Saatzig." 

To which the other answered, "He thanked his Grace 
heartily for the honours; but he had already promised to 
remain in the service of his princely brother of Wolgast; 
and for that object had made purchase of the lands of 
Crienke.'' 

But his Highness would hear of no refusal. Only let him 
look at Saatzig; it was the finest fortress in the land. 
What would he do in a miserable fishing village? The 
castle was almost grander than his own ducal house at 
Stettin ; and the knights' hall, with its stone pillars and 
carved capitals, was the most stately work of architecture 
in the kingdom. Where would he find such a dwelling in 
his village nest ? Old Kleist, the governor, had just died, 
and to whom could he give the castle sooner than to his right 
worthy and loyal Marcus ? " 

When old Dewitz heard this (he was a little, dry old 
man, with long grey hair), he pressed forward to his son- 
in-law, and bade him by no means refuse a Prince's offer ; 
besides, Saatzig was but two miles off, and they could see 
each other every Sunday. Also, if they had a hunt, a 
standard erected on the tower of one castle could be seen 
plainly from the tower of the other, and so they could lead 
a right pleasant, neighbourly life, almost as if they all lived 
together." 

Still Marcus will not consent. Upon which his mother- 
in-law can no longer suppress her feelings, and comes forward 
to entreat him. (She was a good, pious matron, and as 
fat as her husband was thin. ) So she stroked his cheeks — 
" And where in the land, as far as Usdom, could he find such 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 285 



fine muranes and maranes * — this fish he loved so much ? — 
and where was such fine flax to be had, for his young wife to 
spin? — no flax in the land equalled that of Saatzig! — since 
ever she was a little girl, people talked of the fine Saatzig 
flax. Let her dear daughter Clara come over, and see could 
she prevail aught with her stern husband. Why, they could 
send pudding hot to each other, the castles were so near." 

And now the mild young bride approached her husband, 
and taking his hand gently, looked up into his eyes with soft, 
beseeching glances, but spdce no word ; so that the princely 
widow of Wolgast was moved, and said, " Good Marcus, if 
you only fear to ofifend my son of Wolgast by taking service 
at Saatzig, be composed on that head, for I myself will make 
your peace. Great, indeed, would be my joy to have you 
and your young spouse settled at Crienke, which, you know, is 
but half a mile from Pudgla, my dower-castle, where I mean 
to reside 5 yet these beseeching glances of my little Clara fill 
my heart with compassion, for do I not read in her clear eyes 
that she would love to stay near her dear parents, as indeed is 
natural ? Therefore, in God's name accept the offer of your 
Prince. I myself command you." 

Hereupon Marcus inclined himself gracefully to the 
Duchess and Duke Johann, and pressed his little wife to 
his heart. " But what need, gracious Prince, of a governor 
at Saatzig, when all the courts are closed and no justice can 
be done ? I shall eat my bread in idleness, like a worn-out 
hound. But, marry, if your Grace consents to open the 
courts, I will accept your offer with thanks, and do my duty 
as governor with all justice and fidelity." Then his Grace 
answered, " What ! good M^cus, dost thou begin again on 
that old theme which roused my wrath so lately, and made 

* The great marana weighs from ten to twelve pounds, and is a 
species of salmon-txx)ut. The murana is of the same race, but not 
larger than the herring. It must not be confounded with the murana 
of which the Romans were so fond, which was a species of eel. 



486 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



me fall into that peril ? But I bethink me of thy bravery, 
and will say no bitter word ; only, thou mayest hold thy peace, 
for I have sworn by my princely honour, and from that there 
is no retreating. However, thou hast leave to hold jurisdic- 
tion in thy own government, and execute justice according to 
thy own upright judgment." 

So Marcus was silent; but the Duchess and the other 
princes took up the subject, and assailed his Highness with 
earnest petitions — " Had he not himself felt and seen the 
danger of permitting these freebooters to get such a head 
in the land? Had not the finger of God warned him this 
very night, in hopes of turning him back to the right path ? 
Let him reflect, for the peace of his land was at stake/' 
But all in vain. Even though old Ulrich tumbled into the 
argument with his seven thousand devils, yet could they 
obtain no other answer from his Highness but — the 
states give me gold, I shall open the courts; if they give 
no gold, the courts shall remain closed for ever. Were he 
to be brought before the Emperor, or Pontius Pilate himself, 
it was all alike; they might tear him in pieces, but not one 
nail's breadth of his princely word would he retreat from, or 
break it like a woman, for their prayers." 

Then he rose, and calling his fool Clas to him, bid him run 
to the old priest, and tell him he would sleep at his quarters 
that night, for he must have peace ; but the merry Clas, as he 
was running out, got behind his Highness, and stuck his fooPs 
cap upon the head of his Grace, crying out, " Here, keep my 
cap for me." 

However, his Highness did not relish the joke, for every 
one laughed ; and he ran after the fool, trying to catch him, 
and threatening to have his head cut off ; but Clas got be- 
hind the others, and clapping his hands, cried out, **Yo\x 
can't, for the courts are closed. Huzza! the courts are 
closed ! " Whereupon he runs out at the door, and my 
gracious lord after him, with the fool's cap upon his head. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 287 



Nor did he return again to the hall, but went to sleep at the 
priest's quarters, as he had said ; and next morning, by the 
first dawn of day, set off on his journey homeward. 

All this while no one had troubled himself about Sidonia. 
My gracious lady wept, the young lords laughed, old Ulrich 
swore, whilst the good Marcus murmured softly to his young 
wife, " Be happy, Clara ; for thy sake I shall consent to go 
to Saatzig. I have decided.*' 

This filled her with such joy that she danced, and smiled, 
and flung herself into her mother's arms ; nothing was wanting 
now to her happiness ! Just then her eyes rested upon Si- 
donia, who was leaning against the wall, as pale as a corpse. 
Clara grew quite calm in a moment, and asked, compas- 
sionately, " What aileth thee, poor Sidonia ? " 

" / öm hungry I " was the answer. At this the gentle bride 
was so shocked, that the tears filled her eyes, and she ex- 
claimed, " Wait, thou shalt partake of my wedding-feast ; " 
and away went she. 

The attention of the others was, by this time, also 
directed to Sidonia. And old Ulrich said, " Compose your- 
self, gracious lady ; I trust your son, the Prince, will not be 
so hard and stern as he promises; now that the water has 
touched his own neck, methinks he will soon come to reason. 
But what shall we do now with Sidonia ? " 

Upon which my Lady of Wolgast turned to her, and 
asked if she were yet wedded to her gallows-bird ? " Not 
yet," was the answer; •*but she would soon be." Then 
my gracious lady spat out at her; and, addressing Ulrich, 
asked what he would advise. 

So the stout old knight said, If the matter were left to 
him, he would just send for the executioner, and have her 
ears and nose slit, as a warning and example, for no good 
could ever come of her now, and then pack her off next day 
to her farm at Zachow ; for if they let her loose, she would 
run to her paramour again, and come at last to gallows and 



a88 SIDONIA TMIC SORCKRKSS 



wheel ; but if they jwH nWt her none^ then he would hold her 
in abhorrence^ iin weil a« all other men-folL'' 

During; thii, Clam had entered^ and «et finhf and wild boar» 
and meaty and breads before the girl ; and an «he heard 
Ulrich'» la«t wordv^ »hc bent down and whiffpercd^ ''Fear 
nothings Hidonia^ I hope to be able to protect thee, af I did 
once before ; only eat^ Sidonta 1 Ah 1 had«t thou followed 
my advice 1 I alwayn meant well by thee f and even now, if 
I thought thou would«t rqient truly, poor Sidoniai I would 
take thee with me to the ca«tle of Saatzig, and never let thee 
want for aught through life/' 

When Sidonia heard thin, »he weptf and promised amend- 
ment Only let Clara try her^ for »he could never go to 
Zachow and play the peaiant-girl. Upon which Clara 
turned to her liighneMi and prayed her (/race to give 
HuUm'ui up to her. See how »he wa» weeping j misfortune 
truly Um\ «oft<*ned her, and »he would WHjn be brought back 
to (UhL Only let her take her to Saatzig, and treat her a« 
a M«ten At thin, however^ old Ulrich shook his head — 
** Clara, Clara/' he exclaimed, ♦'knowest thou not that the 
Moor cannot chimge his skin, nor the leo])ard his spots ? I 
cannot, then, let the serpent go* Think on our mother, girl ; 
it is a bad work playing with serpents/' 

Iler Orace, too, became thoughtful, and said at last— 
Could we not send her to the convent at Marienfliess, or 
s^)mirwhcrc else ? " 

** What the devil would she do in a convent ? " exclaimed 
the old knight ''To infect the young maidens with her 
vices, or plague th'rm with her pride? Now, there waa 
nothing else for her Imt to Im* packed off to Zachow/' 

Now Clara looked up once again at her husband with her 
soft, te;irful eyes, for he liad said no word ail this time, but 
remained quite mute ; and he drew her to him, and said— 

<' I understand thy wish, de;tr Clara, but the old knight is 
right 1 1 is a dangerous business, dear Clara I Let Sidonia go/' 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 289 



At this Sidonia crawled forth like a serpent from her corner, 
and howled — 

"Clara had pity on her, but he would turn her out to 
starve — he, who bore her own name, and was of her own 
blood." 

Alas ! the good knight was ashamed to refuse any longer, 
and finally promised the evil one that she should go with them 
to Saatzig. So her Grace at last consented, but old Ulrich 
shook his grey head ten times more. 

" He had Hved many years in the world, but never had it 
come to his knowledge that a godless man was tamed by love. 
Fear was the only teacher for them. All their love would be 
thrown away on this harlot ; for even if the stout Marcus kept 
her tight with bit and rein, and tried to bring her back by 
fear, yet the moment his back was turned, Clara would spoil 
all again by love and kindness." 

However, nobody minded the good knight, though it all 
came to pass just as he had prophesied. 



CHAPTER XV. 

How Sidonia tlemrans herself at the castle of Saatvug^ and how 
Clara forgets the injunctions of her beloved husband^ when 
he leaves her to attend the Diet at IVolBn^ on the stdject of 
the courts — Item^ how the Serene Prince Duke Johann 
Frederick beheads his court fool with a sausage. 

Summa. — Sidonia went to the castle of Saatzig, and her worthy 
cousin Marcus gave her a little chamber to herself, in the third 
story, close to the tower. It was the same room in which she 
afterwards sat as a witch, for some days ere she was taken to 
Odcrburg. There was a right cheerful view from the windows 
down ujwn the lake, which was close to the castle, and over 
the little town of Jacobshagen, as far even as the meadows 

VOL. 1. T 



290 



S1J)(>N1A THE SORCERESS 



beyond. Here, too, was left a Bible for her, and the Opera 
Lulber 't in addition, with plenty of materials for spinning and 
embroidery, for she had refused to weave. Item^ a serving- 
wench was appointed to attend on her, and she had permission 
to walk where she pleased within the castle walls ; but if ever 
seen beyond the domain, the keepers had orders to bring her 
back by force, if she would not return willingly. 

In fme, the careful knight took every precaution possible to 
render her presence as little baneful as could be, for, truth to 
say, he had no faith whatever in her tears and seeming re- 
pentance. 

First, he strictly forbade all his secretaries to interchange 
a word with her, or even look at her. They need not know 
his reason, but any one who transgressed his slightest command 
in this particular, should be chased away instantly from the 
castle. 

Secondly, he prayed his dear wife to let Sidonia cat her 
meals alone, in her own little room, and never to see her but in 
the presence of a third person. 

Also, never to accept the slightest gift from her hand — ^fruit, 
flower, or any kind of food whatsoever. These injunctions 
were the more necessary, as the young bride had already given 
hopes of an heir. Sidonia's rage and jealousy at this prospect 
of complete happiness for Clara may be divined from her words 
to her maid, Lene Pcnkun, a short time after she reached the 
castle — 

Ha ! they are talking of the baptism already, forsooth ; 
but it might have been otherwise if I had come across her 
a little sooner ! " 

This same maid also she sent to Daber for the spirit Chim, 
which had been left behind at the last resting-place of the 
robbers, never telling her it was a spirit, however, only a 
tame cat, that was a great pet of hers. " It must be half 
dead with hunger now, for it was four days since she had 
left it in the hollow of an old oak in the forest, the poor 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



291 



creature ! So let the maid take a flask of sweet milk and 
a little saucer to feed it. She could not miss her way, for, 
when she stepped out of the high-road at Daher into the 
forest, there was a thorn-bush to her left hand, and just be- 
yond it a large oak where the ravens had their nests ; in a 
hollow of this oak, to the north side, lay her dear little cat. 
But she must not tell any one about the matter, or they 
would laugh at her for sending her maid two miles and more 
to look for a cat. Men had no compassion or tender- 
heartedness nowadays to each other, much less to a poor 
dumb animal. No ; just let her say that she went to fetch a 
robe which her mistress had left in the oak. Here was an 
old gown ; take this with her, and it would do to wrap up 
the poor little pussy in it after she had fed it and warmed it, 
so that no one might see it, for what a mock would all these 
pitiless men make of her, if they heard the object of her mes- 
sage ; but she was not cruel like them." 

Now, after some time, it happened that the states of the 
duchy assembled at Wollin, to come to some arrangement 
with his Highness respecting the opening of the courts of 
justice ; and Marcus Bork, along with all the other nobles, 
was summoned to attend the Diet. So, with great grief, he 
had to leave his dear wife, but promised, if possible, to re- 
turn before she was taken with her illness. Then he bid her 
be of good courage, and, above all things, to guard herself 
against Sidonia, and mind strictly all his injunctions concern- 
ing her. 

Alas ! she too soon flung them all to the winds ! For, 
behold, scarcely had the good knight arrived at Wollin, when 
Clara was delivered of a little son, at which great joy filled 
the whole castle. And one messenger was despatched to 
Marcus, and another to old Dewitz and his wife, with the 
tidings ; but woe, alas ! the good old mother was going to 
stand sponsor for a nobleman's child in the neighbourhood, 
and could not hasten then to save her dear daughter from a 



292 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 

terrible and cruel death. She cooked some broth, however, 
for the young mother, and pouring it into a silver flask, bid 
the messenger ride back with all speed to Saatzig, that it 
might not be too cold. She herself would be over in the 
morning early with her husband, and let her dear little 
daughter keep herself warm and quiet. 

Meanwhile Sidonia had heard of the birth, and sent her 
maid to wish the young mother joy, and ask her permission 
just to give one little kiss to her new cousin, for they told 
her he was a beautiful infant. 

Alas, alas ! that Clara's joy should make her forget the 
judicious cautions of her husband ! Permission was given 
to the murderess, and down she comes directly to offer her 
congratulations ; even affecting to weep for joy as she kissed 
the infant, and praying to be allowed to act as nurse until 
her mother came from Dabcr. 

" Why, she had no one about her but common serving- 
women ! How could she leave her dearest friend to the 
care of these old hags, when she was in the castle, who 
owed everything to her dear Clara ? " 

And so she went on till poor Clara, even if she did not 
quite believe her, felt ashamed to doubt so much apparent 
affection and tenderness. 

Summa, — She permitted her to remain, and we shall soon 
see what murderous deeds Sidonia was planning against the 
j)oor young mother. But first I must relate what happened 
at the Diet of Wollin, to which Marcus Bork had been 
summoned. 

His Highness Duke Johann had become somewhat more 
gracious to the states since they had come to the Diet at 
their own cost, which was out of the usage; and further, 
because, as old Ulrich prophesied, he himself had felt the 
inconveniences resulting from the present lawless state of the 
country. 

Still he was ill-tempered enough, particularly as he had a 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



fever on him ; and when the states promised at last that they 
would let him have the money, he said, So far good ; but, 
till he saw the gold, the courts should not be opened. Not 
that he misdoubted them, but then he knew that they were 
sometimes as tedious in handing out money as a peasant in 
paying his rent. The courts, therefore, should not be opened 
until he had the gold in his pot, so it would be to their own 
profit to use as much diligence as possible." At this same 
Diet his Grace related how he first met Clas, his fool, which 
story I shall set down here for the reader's pastime. 

This same fool had been nothing but a poor goose- herd ; 
and one day as he was on the road to Friedrichs wald with 
his flock, my gracious lord rode up, and growing impatient 
at the geese running hither and thither in his path, bid the 
boy collect them together, or he would strike them all dead. 

Upon which the knave took up goose after goose by the 
throat, and stuck them by their long necks into his girdle, till 
a circle of geese hung entirely round his body, all dangling by 
the head from his waist. 

This merry device pleased my lord so much, that he made 
the lad court-jester from that day, and many a droll trick he 
had played from that to this, particularly when his Highness 
was gloomy, so as to make him laugh again. Once, for in- 
stance, when the Duke was sore pressed for money, by reason 
of the opposition of the states, he became very sad, and all the 
doctors were consulted, but could do nothing. For unless 
his Grace could be brought to laugh (they said to the Lady 
Erdmuth), it was all over with him. Then my gracious 
lady had the fool whipped for a stupid jester, who could not 
drive his trade ; for if he did not make the Duke laugh, why 
should he stay at all in the castle ? 

What did my fool? He collected all the princely sol- 
datesca, and got leave from their Graces to review them ; and 
surely never were seen such strange evolutions as he put them 
through, for they must do everything he bid them. And 



SIDONIA rUK SOKCKKKSS 



when Iii» IlijjhncHK canu; forth to l(K>k, he lauj'jicd no loud 
iiH never h;ul fool m;ule him lau;'ji iMff'orc ; and calling the 
DucheHfly bid him nrjxrat hin rxprrtmrntum many timeK for 
her. In fine, the fool );ot the ytm\ town of liutterdorf for 
hin fere, which chan^^ed itfi name in honour of him, and is 
called I fin/endorf to thin day (for hi» name wan ilinze)* 

But ClaH Hin/e had not l>een able to cure my Lord Duke 
of hin fever, which attacked him at the Diet at WoUin, nor 
all the doctors from Stettin, nor <rven Drxjtor I'omiuff, who 
had lM:en sent from Woljjafft by the old DucheHH, Uy attend 
her dear Hon ; and a» the doctor (an I have said) wa« a 
formal, pri^^j'^sh little man, he and the fool were always 
bickerin;; and snarl in)',. 

Now, one day at Wollin, th<r weather Ixrautiful, hit 
Orace, with several of the chief prelau-s, and many of the 
nobility, went forth U) walk by the river's side, and the fwA 
ran alon^r with them ; item^ Doctor Pomius, who, if he could 
not run, at least tried to walk majestically ; and he munched 
a piece of su);ar all the time, for Ixr never couhl kirqi hit 
mouth still a moment. Seein;; his Orace now about to cross 
the brid;'e, the docU)r stirUrd forward with as much haste as 
was consistent with his di;',nity, and s<ri/inj', his Highness by 
the t'lil of the coat, drew him back, declaring',, "'I'hat he 
must not p;iss the water ; all water would ^;ive ntxcnffh to the 
fever-devil,'' But his liijdiness, who was t'llking J^atin to 
the De^tcon of Collxrrj',, turned on the doctor with— A|iagc 
te asine ! '' and stn^le forward, whilst one of the nobles gave 
a free translation aloud for the iK'nefit of the r)thersy sayingt 
"And that means : Jie;»one, thou ass ! " 

Wlien the f(K)l heard this, he clapjied the little man on the 
back, shouting', " Well done, ass ! and there i» thy fee for 
curin)' our gracious Prince of his fever." 

^rhis so nettlcrd tlie rlocf)r that he spat out the lump of 
sugar for rage, and tried to S4'i/e the fool ; but the crowd 
Iau)',hed still louder when Clas jumjxrd on the Ixick of an old 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



woman, giving her the spur with his yellow boots in the side, 
and shaking his head with the cap and bells at the little 
doctor in mockery, who could not get near him for the 
crowd. So the woman screamed and roared, and the people 
laughed, till at last the Duke stopped in the middle of the 
bridge to see what was the matter. When the fool observed 
this, he sprang off the old woman's back, and calling out to 
the doctor — "See how I cure our gracious lord's fever," 
ran upon the bridge like wind, and, seizing the Duke with all 
his force, jumped with him into the water. 

Now the people screamed from horror, as much as before 
from mirth, and thirty or forty burghers, along with Marcus 
Bork, plunged in to rescue his Highness, whilst others tried to 
seize the fool, threatening to tear him in pieces. 

This was a joyful hearing to Doctor Pomius. He drew 
forth his knife — " Would they not finish the knave at once ? 
Here was a knife just ready." 

But the fool, who was strong and supple, swung himself up 
to the bridge, and crouched in between the arches, catching 
hold of the beams, so that no one dared to touch him there, and 
his Highness was soon carried to land. He was in a flaming 
rage as he shook off the water. 

" Where is that accursed fool ? He had only threatened 
to cut off his head at Daber, but now it should be done in 
earnest." 

So the fool shouted from under the bridge — " Ho ! ho ! the 
courts are all closed ! the courts are all closed ! " At which 
the crowd laughed so heartily, that my Lord Duke grew still 
more angry, and commanded them to bring the fool to him 
dead or alive. 

Hearing this, the fool crept forward of himself, and whim- 
pered in his Low Dutch, " My good Lord Duke, praise be 
to God that we've made the doctor fly. I'll give him a little 
piece of drink-money for his journey, and then I'll be your 
doctor myself. For if the fright has not cured you, marry, let 



SIDONIA THK SOHCHRKSS 



the (Ic'icon Ikt your fool, and I will Ixr your deacon sin long at 
I live." 

However, niy ;;ra<:iouM lord wafi in no liiimotir for fun, but 
hid them carry off the fool U) priHon, and lock him up there ; 
for though, indeed, the fever harl rc'ally quite j>one, a« hi» High- 
ne»» fierceived U) \m joy, yet he was resolved to give the f(K>l 
a rij'ht y^(XH\ fright in rcrturn. 

Therefore, on the third rlay from that, he commanded him 
U) Im; brought out and iM-headed on the ftcaffold at Wollin* He 
wore a whiur «hroud, liord'-red with black gau/c, over hin motley 
jacket, and a prie»t and melancholy music accompanied him all 
the way ; but Master I lanHen had directions that, when the 
fo(;l was seated in the chair with his eyes lx)und, he should 
striker tli<r said fool on the neck with a sfiusagc in place of the 
sword. 

I lowever, no one suspected this, and a j»reat crowd followed 
the ]ioor fool up to the scaffold ; even I)oct.or I'omius was thcrci 
and kept close up to the condemned. As the UxA psscd the 
ducal houw, then* was my Ion! seated at a window looking 
out, and the frjol lfM>ked up, saying, " My giacious master^ is 
this a fool's jest yoti are playing me, or is it earnest ? " 

To which the Duke answered, " You s'-e it is earnest." 

'J'hen answered the fool, " Well, \i I must, I must ; yet I 
crave one \yoon I " 

When the promise was )»ranted, the knave, who could not 
)Mve up his j^'sting even on the death-road, s;ti<], " 'J'hcn make 
Dfjctor Pomius herewith to ly: f(j*>l in my place, for look how 
he is learning all my tricks from me — sticking himself close up 
to my si<ie." 

I ler^'at a j',reat nhout of laughter pealed from the crowd, and 
the l)uke motioned with the hand to proceed to the scaffold* 

Still the jKjor fool kept lor>king round every moment, think* 
ing his Cirace would send a niess;ige after them to stop the 
execution, but no one apjK'Jired. Then his teeth chatu-red, and 
he trembled like an as|ien leaf ; for Mai;U*r Hansen seized hold 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



of him now, and put him down upon the chair, and bound his 
eyes. Still he asked, with his eyes bound, ** Master, is any one 
coming ? " 

" No ! " replied the executioner ; and throwing back his 
red cloak, drew forth a large sausage in place of a sword, to the 
giwit amusement of the people. With this he strikes my fool 
on the neck, who thereupon tumbles down from the stool, as 
stone dead from the mere fright as if his head and body had 
I>arted company — yea, more dead, for never a finger or a muscle 
did the poor fool move more. 

This sad ending moved his Grace even to tears ; and he 
fell into a yet greater melancholy than before, crying, " Woe ! 
alas ! He gave me my life through fright, and through fright 
I have taken away his poor life ! Ah, never shall I meet with 
so good and merry a fool again ! " 

Then he gave command to all the physicians to try and 
restore him, and he himself stood by while they bled him 
and felt his pulse, but all was in vain ; even Doctor Pomius 
tried his skill, but nothing would help, so that my lord cried 
out angrily — 

" Marry, the fool was right. The fools should be doctors, 
for the doctors are all fools. Away with ye all, and your 
gibberish, to the devil ! " 

After this he had the said fool placed in a handsome black 
coffin, and conveyed to his own town of Hinzendorf, there 
to be buried ; and over his grave my lord erected a stately 
monument, on which was represented the poor fool, as large 
as life, with his cap and bells, and staff in his hand ; and 
round his waist was a girdle, from which many geese dangled, 
all cut like life, while at his side lay his shepherd's bag, and 
at his feet a beer-can. The figure is five feet two inches 
long, and bears a Latin inscription above it, which I forget ; 
but the initials G. H. are carved upon each cheek.* 

* His original name was Gürgen Hinze, not Clas. The Latin in- 
scription is nearly eO'aced, but the beginning is still visible, and runs 



2<jH 



SIIK)NIA THK SORCKRKSS 



Shortly after the death of the fool a mciiiiengcr arrived 
from Saat'/.i;; to Marcuii Bork, bringing him the joyful tidings 
that the Lord (/od had granted him the blefffiing of a little 
HOD. So he iff away to my J/ord Duke, to »olicit pcrmitnion 
to leave the Diet and return to hid caiitle* Thin the Duke 
re^ulily granted, i»eeing th;it he himnelf wan going away to 
attend the funeral of the poor fool at Hin/endorf* Then he 
wiffhcd Marcuff joy with all hid heart, which no emlx>ldened 
the knight that he ventured to make one more effort about 
the opening of the court*, j^raying hi« (Irace to put faith in 
the word of hin faithful iitateii, and open the courts and the 
treasury without further delay. 

But his (Irace is wroth : What should he be troubled 
for? The niatcn could give the money when they chosei 
and then all would l>e right, f ^et the nol)les do their duty. 
He never saw a penny come out of their {X)ckets for their 
Prince/' 

But his Highness knew the poor peasants were all beg- 
gared ; and where could the nobles get the money ? 

" Let them go U) their saving-pots, then, where the money 
w;is turning green from age ; Inrtter for them if they had leM 
avarice. Why did not he himself bring him some goldf in 
place of dressing up his wife in silks and jewels, finer than 
the Princess Mrdmuth herself, his own princely spouse? 
Then, indeed, the courts might l)c soon o|>ened/' Sec, So 
the sorrowing knight took his leave, and each went his dif« 
ferent way. 

tliiw: 'Tftirtit reo? inamii f{r«tiw (\wi;" from whidi (>n\r\chn con- 
dti(li?.ti that iUt*. w)u)\f. witn writUtn in hr,xiimt:ttrrn. {Sen Uh cnümahle 
work, " Mnmoirn (if the f'omcmnidti Duk«;»," p. 41,) 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 299 



CHAPTER XVI. 

I /(KU Su/onia nuikts poor Clara appear quite dead^ and of the 
^reat mourning at Saatxig over her burialy while Sidonia 
dances on her coffin and si^gs the 109th psalm — Itemy of 
the sermon and the anathema pronounced upon a wicked 
sinner from the altar of the church. 

I MUST first state that this horrible wickedness of Sidonia, 
which no eye had seen nor ear heard, neither had it entered 
into the heart of man to conceive (for only in hell could such 
have been imagined), never would have come to light but 
that she herself made confession thereof to Dr. Cramero, thy 
well-beloved godfather, in her last trial. And he, to show 
I how far Satan can lead a poor human creature who has once 
fallen from God, related the same to my worthy father-in- 
law. Master David Reutuo, some time superintendent at the 
criminal court, from whose own lips I received the story. 

And this was her confession 2 — ^That when the messenger 
returned from Daber with the broth, he had ridden so fast 
that it was still, in truth, quite hot, but she (the horrible 
Sidonia), who was standing at the bed of the young mother, 
;ilong with the other women, pretended that it was too cold 
for a woman in her state, and must just get one little heating 
on the fire. 

The poor Clara, indeed, showed unwillingness to permit 
this, but she ran down with it, and secretly, without being 
seen by any of the other women, poured in a philtrum that 
had been given her by the gipsy hag, and then went back 
ag;un for a moment. This philtrum was the one which pro- 
duced all the appearance of death. It had no taste, except, 
jHThaps, that it was a little saltish. Therefore Clara per- 
ceived nothing wrong, only when she tasted it, said, <<My 
heart's dearest mother, in her joy, has put a little too much 



SIDONIA THK SOUCKIIKSS 



Halt into her l)rotli ; Htill, what a hcart'H dcnrcHt mother nvndHf 
niuMt alway« taHt<r ^»oo<i ! " I lowever, in one hour after that, 
Clara lay aH Huff and cold an a corpNe, only lurr breath came 
a little; but even this ceaHed in a Hhort time, and then a 
j;reat cry and lament'ition reHOunded through the whole castle* 
No one HUH])ect<;d Sidonia, for many Haid that young women 
died HO often ; but even the old mother, who arrived a few 
hourn after, and hearing the crien from the cantle while ifhe 
wa» yet far off, Inrgan to weep likewine; for her mother' f» 
lurart revealed the cause to her ere she haxl yet descended 
from ihv. carriage. 

ßut it waH a sadder night next evening, when the husband 
arrived at the castle from Wollin. He could not take his eyes 
from the corpMr. One while he kisKed the infant, then (ixod 
his eyes again u}K)n his dead wife, and sighed and groaned 
as if he lay ui>on the rack. lie alone HUH|)ected Sidonta, 
but when she cried more than they all, and wrung her handf^ 
exclaiming, who would have j)ity on her now, for her beit 
friend lay there de.'ui ! and flung hernelf upon the seeming 
corpHe, kissing it and Iwdewiri)» it with her Urars, and praying 
to have leave to watch all n\y)it bcrside it, for how could she 
slirp in her sore grief and sorrow ? the knight was ashamed 
of his suspicions, and even tried to comfort her himself* 

Then came the physicians out of Stargard and other 
places, who had lx;en Hummoned in all hante, and they 
gabbled away, saying, " It could not have been the broth, 
but puerp<rral fever." This at le;ist was Dr. Hamster's 
opinion, who knew all along, it would lie a bad case. In- 
deed, the last time he was at the casthr visitinj; the mower's 
wifr, he was frightened at the look of the poor lady* Still, 
if they had only wmU for him in time, this great evil could 
not haver hajijxrned, for his fiu/vh anüspnsmoäicus was never 
known to lail ; and so lu; went on chattering, by which one 
can w'i'. that drxrtors have always Ixren the «anif from that time 
even till MOW. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 301 



Summa. — On the third day the poor Clara was laid in 
her coffin, and carried to her grave, with such weeping and 
lamentation of the mourners and bearers as never had been 
heard till then. And all the nobles of the vicinage, with the 
knights and gentlemen, came to attend her funeral at Saatzig 
Cathedral, for she was to be buried in this new church just 
iinished by his Grace Duke Johann, and but one corpse had 
been laid in the vaults before her.* 

But what does the devil's sorceress do now ? She knew 
that the poor Clara would awake the next day (which was 
Sunday) about noon, and if any should hear her cries, her 
plans would be detected. Therefore, about ten of the clock 
she ran to Marcus, with her hair all flowing down her 
shoulders, saying, that he must let her away that very day to 
Zachow, for what would the world say if she, a young un- 
married thing, should remain here all alone with him in his 
castle ? No ; sooner would she swallow the bitter cup her 
father had left her than peril her name. But first, would he 
allow her to go and pray alone in the church ? Surely he 
would not deny her this. 

Thereupon the simple knight gave hor instant leave — ** Let 
her go and pray, in God's name. He himself would soon 
be there to hear the Reverend Dr. Wudargensis preach the 
funeral sermon over his heart's dear wife. And after service 
he would desire a carriage to be in readiness to convey her 
to Zachow." 

Then he called to the warder from the window, bidding 
him let Sidonia pass. So she went forth in deep mourning 
garments, glided through the castle gardens, and concealing 
herself by the trees, slipped into the church without any one 
having perceived her ; for the sexton had left the door open 
to admit fresh air, on account of the corpse. Then she 

* The beautifoUy painted escutcheon of Duke Johann and his wnfe, 
Erdmuth of Brandenburg, is still to be seen on the chancel vvindows of 
this stately staircase. 



SIDONIA TUE SOKCKKKSS 



Htcppcd over to th(! little ;;ratcd door near the altar, which led 
down inU) the vault, and Hof'tly lifting it, iitepped down, draw« 
inj; the door down again cloHe over her heitd. Clara'« coffin 
wan lying beneath, and firHt »he laid her ear on it and livtenod, 
but all waH quite Htill within. 'I'hen removing the pall, the 
sat herself down u]K)n the lid. Time pasifed, and still no 
sound. The sexton l>egan U) ring the l>ell, and the ])Coplc 
were ass(rml)ling in the church alK)ve, Soon the hymn 
commenced, " Now in peace the loved one sleq>cth," and 
er<; the first verse had ended, a knocking was heard in the 
coflin, then a cry — " Where am I ? Wliat brought mc 
here? Let me out, for (jo<1's sake let me outl I am not 
dead. Where is my child ? Where is my gocxl Marcuf ? 
Ah ! there is some one near me. Who is it ? Let mc out ! 
let me outl *' Then (oh! horror of horrors!) the dcviPs 
harlot on her coffm answered, <Mt is I, Sidonial this pays 
thee for acting the spy at Wolgast. Lie there and writhe 
till thou art stifled in thy blmxl ! " Now the voice came 
again from the coffm, praying and Ixrseeching, so that many 
times it went through her stony heart like a sword. And 
just then the first verse of the hymn ended, and the voice of 
the priest was heard asking the lord governor whether they 
should go and sing the remainder over the vault of hif dear 
spouscr, for it was indeed sung in her honour, seeing she had 
been ever a mother U) the orphan, and a holy, pious, and 
Christian wife; or, since the ])eople all knew her worth, and 
mourned for her with bitter mourning, should they sing it 
here in the nave, that the whole congregation might join in 
chorus ? * 

To this the governor, in a loud yet mournful voice, gave 
answer — 

Alas, good friends, do what you will in this sad case ; I 
am content." 

hut Sidonia, this devil's witch, was in a horrible fright, 
* 'I'hc'iC iiitcrniptioin wnr^ hy tio incui'i luiiiMiul ut that |x$riod. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 303 



lest the priest would come up to the altar to sing the hymn, 
and so hear the knocking within the coffin. However, the 
devil protects his own, for, at that instant, many voices called 
out — 

" Let the hymn be sung here, that we may all join to the 
honour of the blessed soul of the good lady." 

And mournfully the second verse was heard pealing through 
the church, from the lips of the whole congregation, so that 
poor Clara's groans were quite smothered. For, when the 
voice of her dear husband reached her ear, she had knocked 
and cried out with all her strength — 

" Marcus ! Marcus ! Alas, dear Lord, will you not come 
to me ! " Then again — " Sidonia, by the Jesu cross, I pray 
thee have pity on me. Save me — save me — I am stifling. 
Oh, run for some one, if thou canst not lift the lid thyself! 

But the devil made answer to the poor living corpse — 

" Dost thou take me for a silly fool like thysilf, that I 
should now undo all I have done ? *' 

And as the voice went on from the coffin, but feebler and 
fainter — 

" Think on my husband— on my child, Sidonia ! " 

She answered — 
Didst thou think of that when, but for thee, I might 
have been a Duchess of Pomerania, and the proud mother of 
a prince, in place of being as I now am." 

Then all became still within the coffin, and Sidonia sprang 
upon it and danced, chanting the 109th psalm ; * and as she 

* Superstition has found many sinful usages for this psalm. The 
Jew^, for example, took a new vessel, poured a mixture of mustard 
aiid \\-ater therein, and alter repeating this psalm over it for three con- 
secutive days, poured it out before the door of their enemy, as a certain 
means to ensure his destruction. In the middle ages monks and nuns 
were frequently obliged to repeal it in superstitious ceremonies, at the 
command of some powerful revengeful man. And that its efficacy ^-as 
considered as something miraculously powerful, even by the e\-angelical 
Church, is proved by this example of Sidonia, who made frequent use of 
this terrible psalm in her sorceries, as any one may see by referring to 



304 



SIDONIA THK SORCKRKSS 



came U) tilt; w(jrd», J^ct non(r hIiow mercy U) him ; let none 
have pity on hi» orphan» ; let hi» posterity Ix: cut off and hit 
nanu? l>e hlottcrd out/' there wan a loud knocking', again within 
the coffm, ami a faint, «tifled cry — " 1 am dying ! " then 
followed a gurgling aound, and all U-camc «tilL At that 
moment the congregation above raiwed the la«t veruc of the 
hymn : — 

"In nmvK, witli l/ittcr wiu:\tmii, 
f x;viri|{ \iiLiuh have \M \icr down ; 
TlMrrc *.Un rt:'.li:lU, cahnly .slrrupin/^, 
Till ;in nuy^A lifts i\n: Monc." 

Jiut the Hermon which now followed »he rememlKrred her 
life long. It waH on the tear», the »oft tear» of our Lord and 
Saviour Jchub ChriHt. And hh her Hpirit b<rcame opjircssed 
l)y the (lilencir in the vault, now that all wa» still within the 
coffin, »he lifted the lid afu*r the exordium, to sec if Clara 
were indeed quite dead. 

It wan an e;i»y matter to remove the cover, for the screws 
w<;re n()t fawtcned ; but O Ood ! what lias she beheld ? A 
aight that will never more leave her l>rain I The poor corpse 
lay all U^rn and diafigured from the writhing» in the coffin, and 
a l)lood-veHBel muBt have ljurst at laHt to relieve her from her 
agony, for the blood lay yet warm on the hands as she lifted 
the cover. But more horrible th<in all were the fixed glassy 
vyvH of the corpse, Mtaring immovably upon her, from which 
clear tears were yet flowing, and lilending with the blood upon 
the cheek ; and, as if the priest above h;ui known what was 
l^iHHing Ixrneath, he exclaimed— 

Oh, let us moiHten our couch with tear» ; let Urars be our 
meat day and night. They are noble tears that do not fall 
to ejirth, but aucend up to God's throne. Yea, the Lord 
gathers them in His vials, like costly wine. They are noble 

Ihr: rnr^jTfhtA the lri;il in f )alincrt. And other intcrc-.tin^; examples are 
foiinri in the tnKiti';e of Joh, Andreu-; Schriiidii, Abusus /'salmi 109 m- 
prciahrii : vuhjo, Tlie iJealh I'rnyer, I I(:hn'»t;ult, 1708, 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



tears, for if they fill the eyes of God's chosen in this life, yet, 
in that other world, the Lord Jesus will wipe away tears from 
olf all foces, as the dew is dried by the morning sun. Oh, 
wondrous beauty of those eyes which are dried by the Lord 
Jesus ! Oh, blessed eyes ! Oh, sun-clear eyes ! Oh, joyful 
and ever-smiling eyes ! '* 

She heard no more, but felt the eyes of the corpse were 
upon her, and fell down like one dead beside the coffin ; and 
Clara's eyes and the sermon never left her brain from that 
day, and often have they risen before her in dreams. 

But the Holy Spirit had yet a greater torment in store for 
her, if that were possible. 

For, after the sermon, a consistorium was held in the church 
upon a grievous sinner named Trina Wolken, who, it appeared, 
had many times done penance for her unchaste life, but had in 
no wise amended. And she heard the priest asking, " Who 
accuseth this woman ? ** To which, after a short silence, a 
deep, small voice responded — 

" I accuse her ; for I detected her in sin, and though I 
besought her ^vith Christian words to turn firom her evil ways, 
and that I would save her firom public shame if she would so 
turn, yet she gave herself up wholly to the devil, and out of 
revenge bewitched my best sheep, so that it died the very day 
after it had brought forth a lamb. Alas ! what will become of 
the poor lamb ? And it was such a beautiful little lamb ! " 

When Marcus Bork heard this, he began to sob aloud ; 
and each word seemed to run like a sharp dagger through 
Sidonia's heart, so that she bitterly repented her evil deeds. 
And all the congregation broke out into loud weeping, and 
even the priest continued, in a broken voice, to ask die sinner 
what she had to say to this terrible accusation. 

U|K>n which a woman's voice was heard swearing that all 
w;is a malignant lie, for her accuser was a shameless liar and 
open sinner, who wished to ruin her because she had refused 
his son. 

VOL. I. V 



3o6 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



Then the priest commanded the witnesses to he called 9 not 
only to prove the unchastity, hut also the witchcraft. And 
after this, she was asked if she could make ^ood the I088 of 
the sheep ? No ; she had no money. And the people 
testified also that the harlot had nothing but her shame« 
Thereupon the priest rose up, and said — 

" That she had long been notorious in the Christian com- 
munion for her wicked life, and that all her penance and 
repentance having proved but falsehood and deceit, he wai 
commissioned by the honourable consistorium to pronounce 
upon her the solemn curse and sentence of excommunication. 
For she had this day been convicted of strange and terrible 
crimes, on the testimony of competent witnesses. Therefore 
he called upon the whole Christian congregation to stand up 
and listen to the words of the anathema, by which he gave 
over Trina Wolken to the devil, in the name of the Almighty 
God." 

And as he spoke the curse, it fell word by word upon the 
head of Sidonia, as if he were indeed pronouncing it over 
herself — 

"Dear Christian Friends, — Because Trina Wolken hath 
broken her baptismal vows, and given herself over to the 
devil, to work all uncleanness with greediness ; and though 
divers times admonished to repentance by the Church, yet 
hath stiffened her neck in corruption, and hardened her heart 
in unrighteousness, therefore we herewith place the said Trina 
Wolken under the ban of the excommunication. Henceforth 
she is a thing accursed— cast off from the communion of the 
Church, and participation in the holy sacraments. Henceforth 
she is given up to Satan for this life and the next, unless the 
blessed Saviour reach forth His hand to her as He did to the 
sinking Peter, for all things are possible with God. And 
this we do by the power of the keys granted by Christ to His 
Church, to bind and loose on earth as in heaven, in the name 
of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.'' 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



And now Sidonia heard distinctly the screams of the 
wretched sinner, as she was hunted out of the church, and 
all the congregation followed soon after, and then all was 
still abo\*e. 

Now, mdeed, terror took such hold of her that she 
trembled like an aspen leaf, and the lid fell many times from 
her hand with great clatter on the ground, as she tried to re- 
place it on the coffin. For she had closed her eyes, for fear 
of meeting the ghastly stare of the corpse again. At last she 
got it up, and the corpse was covered ; but she would not stay 
to replace the screws, only hastened out of the vault, closing 
the little grated door after her, reached the church door, which 
had no lock, bat only ^ latch, and plunged into the castle 
gardens to hide herself amongst the trees. 

Here she remained crouched for some hours, trying to re- 
cover her self-possession ; and when she found that she could 
weep as well as ever when it pleased her, she set off for the 
castle, and met her cousin Marcus with loud weeping and 
lamentations, entreating him to let her go that instant to 
Zachow. Eat and drink could she not from grief, though 
she had eaten nothing the whole morning. So the mournftd 
knight, who had himself risen from the table without eating, 
to hasten to his little motherless lamb, asked her where she had 
passed the morning, for he had not seen her in the church ? To 
which she answered, that she had sunk down almost dead on 
the altar-steps ; and, as he seemed to doubt her, she repeated 
part of the sermon, and spoke of the curse pronounced upon 
the girl, and told how she had remained behind in the 
church, to weep and pray alone. Upon which he exclaimed 
joyfully — 

<<Now, I thank God that my blessed spouse counselled 
me to take thee home with us. Ah ! I see that thou hast 
indeed repented of thy sins. Go thy ways, then ; and, with 
God's help, thou shalt never want a true and faithful friend 
while I five." 



.30« HinONFA TMK SORCKKKSft 



1 \n(\ ht-r h\m) Uikt: all Win hltmnfd wiTc^n wardrobe with 
htrff iimony^Hi which MfHH a hrocmlcd (hmnuk with citron 
flowcr», which nh/* had rmly j»ot a yi'Jir l>*'for#r; /Vm, her 
tiU<m and kirrchi^rfi» : jummUf all Uiat »he h^ul wcK'n, he 
winhfrd never U) <m*(* tht-ni a;'ain. AnrI w> »fie went away in 
luwUr from tlie ca«»llr, after li;ivin;j ^,iven a farewell kU» to 
the little m'HherleM lamb. I'or thou)',h the evil v^ni Chim^ 
which fthe carried und^^r her mantle, whi^jKrred to her to give 
the little \rMUu\ a ffcjuer/e that w^nild m;(ke him follow hi* 
nv)i\\fVf or Ui let him do fto, »he would m)t crm»ent, Init pinched 
him for \\\n ailvice till he »()ualled, though Marcun certainly 
crmid not have hr^trd him, for he wa» attendin^f^ Sidonta to the 
co;ich \ Uli then the ^(hhS knight wa« »o ah^>rlM;d in grief 
that he had neither ear« n(;r eye« for anything. 



ciiArricK XVII. 

Jfow Siflfmia is rhatrd by the nvolvrs to Kehewinkelf and ßndt 
Johann Appelmann again in the inn^ with whom she gifts 
away a second time by night, 

Wmkm Si/lonia left Haat/ig, thr day w;m» far advanced, no that 
the good knight recommench'd her U) «to)) at Daher that 
night with \m ble»«ed wife% mourning parents, and, for thii 
purjK>fte, »eilt a letter by her Ut th^m. AI»»o he gave a fine 
one-yi'^ir-old itr,i\ in char^'e Uj the co;ichman, who tied it to 
the Aide of the carriage ; and MarcuM liid him deliver it up 
wifely U) th<* \mU}r of Rehewinkel, hi» g^xwl frieml, for he 
Iwid only l;een keq;ing the young thing at grauM for him, and 
the pa«»f^)r now wiiihed it Iwck — ^they mu*t therefore go by 
Kr^hr-winkel. So t}i#'y drove away ; Imt nrmy »trange things 
ha|;|M'ned by rean/m of thi« «ame fnal j for it wa« m re»tive 
and intpatient at UAny, tied, that many fini'*«» they h;id to «tO|> 
and quiet it, lent the jMK;r l>ea*t might gK hurt by the wheel. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



This so delayed their journey, that evening came on before 
they were out of the forest ; and as the sun went down, the 
wolves began to appear in every direction. Finally, a pack 
v^t ten or twelve pursued the carriage ; and though the coach- 
man whipped his horses with might and main, still the wolves 
gained on them, and stared up in their faces, licking their 
jiiws with their red tongues. Some even were daring enough 
to spring up behind the carriage, but finding nothing but 
trunks, had to tumble down again. 

This so terrified Sidonia that she screamed and shrieked, 
and, drawing forth a knife, cut the cords that bound the foal, 
which instantly galloped away, and the wolves after it. How 
die carl drove now, thinking to get help in time to save the 
ytoor foal ! but not so. The poor beast, in its terror, gallojwd 
into the town of Rehewinkel ; and as the paddock is closed, 
it springs into the churchyard, the wolves after it, and runs 
into the belfry-tower, the door of which is lying open — ^the 
wolves rush in too, and there they tear the poor animal to 
pieces, before the pastor could collect peasants enough to try 
and save it. 

Meanwhile Sidonia has reached the town likewise; and 
as there is a great uproar, some of the peas;mts crowding 
into the churchyard, others setting off full chase after the 
wolves, which had taken the road to Freienwald, Sidonia did 
not choose to move on (for she must have travelled that 
very road), but desired the coachman to drive up to the 
inn ; and as she entered, lo ! there sat my knave, with two 
companions, at a table, drinking. Up he jumps, and seizes 
Sidonia to kiss her, but she pushed him away. Let hini 
not attempt to come near her. She had done with such low 
fellows." 

So the knave feigned great sorrow — " Alas 1 had she 
quite forgotten him — and he treasured her memory so in his 
heart ! Where had she come from ? He saw a great many 
trunks and bags on the carriage. What had she in them ? " 



.310 



SIDONIA TMK SOIICKKKSS 



Ilia, — "Ah! he would, no doubt, like to |»ct hold of 
them ; but »he would tike care ;md inform the |K!Oj>le what 
»ort of roblnrr carU they had now in the hou»e. She came 
from Saat/Jgy and wa» ;;oing to Daber ; for as old Dewitz 
h;id ioHt hi« daughter, he intended U) adopt her in the place 
of one. 'I'hcfrefore let him not attempt to approjich her, for 
Mhe was now, more tlian ever, a cavtle and land dowered 
mitiden, and from «uch a low lnir);her carl as he wai, would 
croH» and ble»» herself/' 

Jiut my knave knew her well; iki he answered — "Woe 
i» me, Sixbnia I do not grieve me by such words } for know 
tfiat I have given up my old free a>ursei of which you talk \ 
and my fither is so pleawrd witli my present mode of life, 
tfuit he \\iiH promised to give me my herit^ige, and even thif 
very night I am to receive it ;it ßruchhauseii, and am on my 
way there, as you see* 'l^ruly 1 meant to purchase some land 
in Poland with the money, and then search thr^xighout all 
places for you, that we might i>e weddrd like pious Christiana* 
Alas! I thought U) have sold your })Oor <;al>ins at Zachow, 
and brou;'jit you home to my cantlc in Poland ; Init for all 
my love you only give me this proud answer ! " 

Now Si<lonia scarcely Inrliev^'d the knave ; so she called 
one of his comrades aside, and asked him was it true, and 
wfiere they came frcmi* Ujxin which he confirmed all that 
Johann ha<l s;tid — 'i'he devil had dispersed the whole b;iiid, 
so tlutt only two were left with the captain— himself and 
K()nnemann} and they came from Nörenburg, where the 
mast<'r had Ixren striking a Iwrgain with ICIias von Wctlcl, 
for a Unvn in Poland. The town was called F^embrowo, and 
there was a sUttely castle then*, as grami almost as the caatlc 
of old Dewitz at Dal>er. 'I'hey were going this very night 
U) Hruchhausen, to get gold from the old stiff-neck of Star- 
gard, HO that the iKirgain might Iht concluded next day.'' 

I'his was a pleasant he;iring for Sidonia. She liecame 
more fri<«ndly, and said, "He could not blame her for 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 311 

doubting him, as he had deceived her so often ; still it was 
wonderful how her heart clung to him through all. Where had 
ho been so long ? and what had happened since they parted ? " 

Hereupon he answered, " That he could not speak while 
the people were all going to and fro in the inn ; but if she 
came out with him (as the night was fine), they could walk 
down to the river-side, and he would tell her all." 

Summa* — She went with him, and they sat down upon 
the green grass to discourse, never knowing that the pastor 
of Rehewinkel was hid behind the next tree; for he had 
gone forth to lament over the loss of his poor foiil, and sat 
there weeping bitterly. He had got it home to sell, that he 
might buy a warm coat for the winter, which now he cannot 
do ; therefore the old man had gone forth mournfully into 
the clear night, thrown himself down, and wept. 

By this chance he heard the whole story from my knave, 
and related it afterwards to the old burgomaster in Stargard. 
It was as follows : — 

Some time after his flight from Daher, a friend from 
Stettin told him that Dinnies von Kleist (the same who had 
spoiled their work in the Uckermund forest) had got a great 
sum of gold in his knapsack, and was off to his castle at 
Dame,* while the rest were feasting at Daber. This sum 
he had won by a wager from the Princes of Saxony, Bran- 
denburg, and Mecklenburg. For he had bet, at table, that 
he would carry five casks of Italian wine at once, and without 
help, up from the cellar to the dining-hall, in the castle of Old 
Stettin. Duke Johann refused the bet, knowing his man well, 
but the others took it up ; upon which, after grace, the whole 
noble company stood up and accompanied him to the cellar. 
Here Dinnies took up a cask under each arm, another in each 
hand by the plugs, and a fifth between his teeth by the plug 
also ; thus laden, he carried the five casks up every step from 

• A XowTx near Pokin, in Lower Pomerania, and an ancient feudal 
hold of the Kleists. 



312 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



the cellar to the dining-halL So the money was paid to him, 
as the lacqueys witnessed, and having put the same in his 
knapsack, he set off for his castle at Dame, to give it to his 
father. And the knave went on — " After I heard this news 
from my good friend, I resolved to set off for Dame and 
revenge myself on this strong ox, burn his castle, and take 
his gold. The band agreed ; but woe, alas ! there was one 
traitor amongst them. The fellow was called Kaff, and I 
might well have suspected him ; for latterly I observed that 
when we were about any business, particularly church-robbing, 
he tried to be off, and asked to be left to keep the watch. 
Divers nights, too, as I passed him, there was the carl praying 
and so I ought to have dismissed the coward knave at once, or 
he would have had half the band praying likewise before long. 

In short, this arrant villain slips off at night from hb 
post, just as we had all set ourselves down before the castle, 
waiting for the darkest hour of midnight to attack the foxes 
in their den, and betrays the whole business to Kleist himself, 
telling him the strength of the band, and how and when we 
were to attack him, with all other particulars. Whereupon 
a great lamentation was heard in the castle, and old Kleist, a 
little white-headed man, wrung his hands, and seemed ready 
to go mad with fear ; for half the retainers were at the annual 
fair, others far away at the coal-mines, and finally, they could 
scarcely muster in all ten fighting men. Besides this, the 
castle fosse was filled with rubbish, though the old man had 
been bidding his sons, for the last year, to get it cleared, but 
they never minded him, the idle knaves. All this troubled 
stout Dinnies mightily ; and as he walked up and down the 
hall, his eyes often rested on a painting which represented the 
devil cutting off the head of a gambler, and flying with it out 
of the window. 

Again and again he looked at the picture, then called out 
for a hound, stuck him under his arm, and cut off his head, 
as if it had been only a dove ; then he called for a calf from 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 3^3 



the stall, put it under his arm likewise, and cut off the head. 
Then he asked for the mask which represented the devil, 
and which he had got from Stettin to frighten his dissolute 
brothers, when they caroused too late over their cups. The 
young Johann, indeed, had sometimes dropped the wine-flask 
by reason of it, but DetlofF still ran after the young maidens 
as much as ever, though even he had got such a fright that 
there was hope for his poor soul yet. So the mask was 
brought, and all the proper disguise to play the devil — 
namely, a yellow jerkin slashed with black, a red mantle, 
and a large wooden horse's foot. 

" When Dinnies beheld all this, and the man who played 
the devil instructed him how to put them on, he rejoiced 
greatly, and declared that now he alone could save the castle. 
I knew nothing of all this at the time," said Johann, " nor of 
the treason, neither did the band. We were all seated under 
a shed in the wood, that had been built for the young deer in 
the winter time, and had stuck a lantern against the wall while 
we gamed and drank, and our provider poured us out large 
mugs of the best beer, when, just at midnight, we heard a 
report like a clap of thunder outside, so that the earth shook 
under us (it was no thunder-clap, however, but an explosion 
of powder, which the traitor had laid down all round the 
shed, for we found the trace of it next day). 

"And as we all sprang up, in strode the devil himself 
bodily, with his horse's foot and cocks' feathers, and a long 
calf's tail, making the most horrible grimaces, and shaking 
his long hair at us. Fire came out of his mouth and nostrils, 
and roaring like a wild boar, he seized the little dwarf (whom 
you may remember, Sidonia), tucked him under his arm like 
a cock — and just as he was uttering a curse over his good game 
being interrupted — and cut his head clean off; then, throwing 
the head at me, growled forth — 

• Every day one, 
Only Sundays none ; ' 



314 SIDONIA THK SORCKRKSS 

and disappc^ircd through the door like a flash of lightning, 
carrying the headless trunk along with him. 

" When my comrades heard that the devil was to carry off 
one of them every day but Sunday, they all set up a scream- 
ing, like so many rooks when a shot is fired in amongst them, 
and rushed out in the night, seizing hold of horses or waggons, 
or wltatever they could Lay their hands on, and rode away 
east and west, and west and east, or north and south, as it 
may be. 

Summa. — When f came to my senses (for 1 had sunk 
down insensilile from horror, when the head of the dwarf was 
thrown at me), I found that the said head had bit me by the 
arm, so that 1 h;id to drag it away by force ; then I looked 
about me, and every knave ha<i fled— even my waggon had 
l)ecn carried off, and not a m\x\ was left in the place of all 
these fine fellows, who had sworn to be true to mc till death* 

"I'his bjise desertion nearly broke my heart, and I re- 
solved to change my course of life and go to some pious priest 
for confession, telling him how the devil had first temptl^d me 
to sin, and then puniwhed me in this terrible manner (as, indeed, 
I well deserved). 

" So next morning I took my way to the trrwn, after observ- 
ing, to my great annoyance, that the castle could have been as 
easily takvu ;is a bird's nest ; and seeing a becr-glass painted 
on a sign-lx)ard, I guessed that here was the inn. Truth to 
say, my heart wanted strengthening sorely, and I entered* 
There was a pretty wench washing crabs in the kitchen, and 
as I made up to her, after my manner, U) have a little pas- 
time, she drew back and said, laughing, ^ May the devil take 
you, as he took the rnhers last night in the barn I ' upon 
which she laughed again so loud and long, that I thou^t she 
would have fallen down, and could not utter a word more for 
laughing. 

" Tliis seemed a strange thing U) me, for 1 had never heard 
a Christian man, much less a woman, laugh when the talk was 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 315 

of the bodily Satan himself. So I asked what there was so 
pleasant in the thought? whereupon she related what the 
young knight Dinnies Kleist had done to save his castle from 
the robbers. I would not believe her, but while I sat myself 
down on a bench to drink, the host comes in and confirmed 
her story. Summa^ I let the conversion lie over for a time 
yet, and set about looking for my comrades, but not finding 
one, I fell into despair, and resolved to get into Poland, and 
take service in the army there— especially as all my money 
had vanished." 

Here the old parson said that Sidonia cried out, " How 
now, sir knave, you are going to buy castle and lands 
forsooth, and have no money? Truly the base villain is 
deceiving me yet again." 

But my knave answered, " Alas ! woe that thou shouldst 
think so hardly of me ! Have I not told thee that my father 
is going to give me my heritage ? So listen further what I 
tell thee : — In Poland I met with Konnemann and Stephen 
Pruski, who had one of my waggons with them, in which all 
my gold was hid, and when I threatened to complain to die 
authorities, the cowards let me have my own property again, 
on condition that I would take them into my service, when I 
went to live at my own castle. This I promised ; therefore 
they are here with me, as you see. And Konnemann went 
lately to my fiither at my request, and brought me biick the 
joyful intelligence that he would assign me over my portion of 
his goods and property." 

So far the Pastor Rehewinkelensis heard. What follows 
concerning the wicked knave was related by his own sorrow- 
ing father to my worthy father-in-law, along with other pious 
priests, and from him I had the story when I visited him at 
Marienfliess. 

For what was my knave's next act ? When he returned 
to the town, and heard from his comrades that the coachman 
of Saatzig was snoring away there in the stable with open 



.310 8ID0NIA THK SOllCKKKSS 

mouth, he stuffed in W)mc hay to prevent him »crcamingi and 
tied him hands and feet, then drew hid horses out of the itall^ 
yoked them to the carriage, and drove it himself a little piece 
out of the town down into the hollow, then went back for 
Sidonia, telling her that her stupid coachman had made some 
mistake and driven off without her, but he had put all her 
baggage on his own carriage, which was now quite ready» if 
she would walk with him a little way just outside the town. 
Hereupon she paid the reckoning, mine host troubling himself 
little about the affair of the waggon, and they set off on foot. 

When they reached the carriage, Sidonia asked if all her 
baggage were really there, for she could not sec in the dark- 
ness. And when she felt, and reckoned all her bundles and 
trunks, and found all right, my knave said, ** Now, she saw 
herself that he meant truly by her. Here was even a nice 
place made in the straw sack for her, where he had sat down 
first himself, that she might have an easy seat. limf she 
now saw his own carriage which he had fished up in Poland 
and kept till now, that he might travel in it t^ Bruchhausen 
to receive his heritage, and he was going there this very 
night. She saw that he h;id lied in nothing." 

Whereupon Sidonia got into the carriage with him, never 
discovering his knavery on account of the darkness, and about 
midnight they reached the inn at ßruchhausen. 

CHAFri'R XVIII. 

//otv a new leaf u turned nver at Uruchhamen in a very fearful 
manner Old jlppelmann takes hu worthless son prisoner^ 
and admonishes him to repentance — Of Johannes wonderful 
cfmversion^ and execution next morning in the churchyard^ 
Sidonia being present thereby* 

My knave halted a little way before they reached the inn, 
for he had his suspicions that all was not quite right, and sent 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 317 

on the forenamed Pruski to ascertain whether the money was 
really come for him. For there was a bright light in the 
tap-room, and the sound of many voices, which was strange, 
seeing that it was late enough for every one to be in bed. 
Pruski was back again soon — ^yes, it was all right. There 
were men in there from Stargard, who said they had brought 
gold for the young burgomaster. 

Marry ! how my knave jumped down from the carriage, 
and brought Sidonia along with him, bidding Pruski to stay 
and watch the things. But, behold, as my knave entered, six 
men seized him, bound him firmly, and bid him sit down 
quietly on a bench by the table, till his &ther arrived. So 
he cursed and swore, but this was no help to him ; and when 
Sidonia saw that she had been deceived again, she tried to 
slip out and get to the carriage, but the men stopped her, 
saying, unless she wished a pair of handcuffs on, she had 
better sit down quietly on another bench opposite Johann. 
And she asked in vain what all this meant. Item^ my knave 
asked in vain, but no one answered them. 

They had not long been waiting, when a carriage stopped 
before the door, more voices were heard, and, alas! who 
should enter but the old burgomaster himself, with Mag. Vito, 
Diaconus of St. John's. And after them came the executioner, 
with six assistants bearing a black cofRn. 

My knave now turned as white as a corpse, and trembled 
like an aspen leaf; no word could he utter, but fell with 
his back against the wall. Then a dead silence reigned 
throughout the chamber, and Sidonia looked as white as her 
paramour. 

When the assistants had placed the coffin on the ground, 
the old ^ther advanced to the table, and spake thus — 
<<Oh, thou ^len and godless child! thou thrice lost son! 
how often have I sought to turn thee ftt>m evil, and trusted 
in thy promises; but in place of better, thou hast grown 
worse, and wickedness has increased in thee day by day, as 



SI DON FA TFIK SORCKRKSS 



poiHon in the youn)» viper. On thy infamouB hamU lie no 
many roblxMien, murderH, and Neduction», that they cannot 
be reckoned. T H])eak not of pant yenrH, for then truly the 
ni);ht would not be lonj; enough to count them ; I H]H:uk 
only of thy last deeds in Poland, an old Ivlias von Wedel 
related them to me yesterday in Sttrgard. Deny, if thou 
darest, here in the face of thy death and thy coffin, how 
thou didnt join thyself to the Lansquenets in Poland, and 
then along with two vile fellows got entrance into Lembrowo, 
telling the old castellan, Ivlias von Wedel, that thou wast a 
labourer, ujK>n which he took thee into his service* But at 
night thou (C) wicked son!) didst rise up and beat the old 
Hlias almost unto death, demanding all his money, which, 
when he refused, thou and thy robber villains seized his cattle 
and his horses, and drove them away with thee. lienif 
canst thou deny tbit on meeting the same old UWsm at 
Wörenberg by the hunt in the forest, thou didst mock him, 
and ask, would h(! sell his castle of I^embrowo in Poland, for 
thou wouldst buy it of him, seeing thy father had promised 
thee plenty of gold ? 

" /tern, canst thou deny having written me a threatening 
letter, declaring that if by this very night a hundred dollars 
were not sent to thee here at Bruchhausen, a red bc;icon should 
rise up from my sheepfolds and barns, which meant nothing 
else than that thou wouldst burn the whole go(xl town of 
Stargard, for thou k no west well that all the shce])folds and 
I)arns of tlur burghers adjoin one to the other ? Canst thou 
(hrny this, O thou lost son ? If so, deny it now." 

I fen; .lohann began again with his old knavery. He wept, 
and threw himself on the ground, crawling under the table to 
get to his father's feet, then howled forth, that he re|)entcd of 
his sins, and would lead a better life truly for the future, if his 
har<l, stern father would only forgive him now. 

But Sidonia screamed aloud, and as the burgomaster in his 
iKjrrow had not observed her Ixrfore, he turned his eyes now 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



on her, and exclaimed, " Woe, alas ! thou godless son, hast 
thou this noble maiden with thee yet ? I thought she was at 
Saatzio ; or perchance thou hast made her thy wife ? " 

///Ir. — ** Alas, no ; but he would marry her soon, to make 
amends for the WTong he had done her." 

Hic. — "This thou hast ten times promised, but in vain, 
and thy sins have increased a hundredfold ; because, like al! 
profligates, thou hast shunned the holy estate of matrimony, 
and preferred to wallow in the mire of unchastity, with any 
one who fell in the way of thy adulterous and licentious 
eyes." 

///r. — " Alas ! his heart's dearest ^ther was right ; but he 
would amend his evil life ; and, in proof of it, let the reverend 
deacon, M. Vitus, here present, wed him now instantly to 
Sidonia." 

Hk. — " It is too late. I counsel thee rather to wed thy 
jHX>r soul to the holy Saviour, like the repentant thief on the 
cross. See — here is a priest, and there is a coflin." 

Here the executioner broke in upon the old, deeply afflicted 
father, telling him the coffin was too short, as, indeed, his 
worship had told him, but he would not believe the young 
man was so tall. Where could he put the head ? It must 
be stuck between his feet, or under his arm, cried out another. 
So some proposed one thing and some another, till a great 
uproar arose. 

Upon which the old mourning father cried out — 

" Do you want to break my heart ? Is there not time 
enough to talk of this after ? " 

Then he turned again to his profligate son, and asked 
him — 

" Would he not repent, and take the holy body and blood 
of our Lord and Saviour Jem Christ, as a passport with him 
on this long journey ? If so, let him go into the little room 
and pray with the priest, and repent of his sins ; there was 
yet time.'* 



SIDONIA TIIK SORCKRKSS 



J lie,- AIa«, h(? had rqjcntcd already. Wh;it had he crcr 
done m wicked that hi« own iKxlily father should thirvt aftir 
hin I;1(kk1 \ The court« were all clofted, and law or juirticc 
could no man have in all Pomerania. What wonder then if 
club-law ami the right of the iftrongeift »hould obtain in all 
pla<:e«, a« in tlie oKlen tinje ? " 

l!k, — ''That law and juntice had cea«ed in the land waS| 
',i\'A% ! but t/)r> true. However, he wa8 not Xny answer for thi«, 
but hi« princely Grace of Stettin. And IxrcauM* they had 
ceaiMrd in the land, was he, as an upright magistratei called 
upon t/) do his duty yet more sternly, even though the criminal 
were Iiis own iKirn son. l<'or the F/ord, the just Judge^ the 
Ahniglity and jealous Ood, called U) him daily, from His holy 
Word — < Ye shall not res|)ect |)ersons in judgment, nor be afraid 
of the face of man ; for the judgment is Orxl's.' • Woe to 
the land's Prince who had not considered thii, but compelled 
him, the miserable judge, to stcq; his father^ hands in the 
bhK)d of his own son. But righteous Abraham conquered 
tltrough faith, l)ecause he was ol)edient untf) Clod, and bound 
his own innocent son u|K)n the altar, and drew forth his knife 
U) slay him. Thcrrefore he, t<K), would concjuer through faith, 
if he Uiund his }^utlty son, and drew out the sword against him, 
oUrdient tf) the words of the Lord. Therefore let him pre- 
pare himself for death, and follow the priest int^j the adjoining 
little chaml)er." 

When Johann found that his father could in no wise l>e sof- 
tened, he began horribly to curse him and the hour of his birth, 
so that the hair of all who heard him st^>od on end. And he 
called the devil to help him, and adjured him to come and carry 
away this fierce and unnatural father, who was more bl<xxl* 
thirsty than the wild InrJists of the forest — for who had ever 
heard that they murdered their own blwxl > 

"Come, devil," he screamed ; "come, devil, ami tear thif 
blomlthirsty monster of a father U) pieces Ix-fore my eyes, so 
• I><rtit. i. 17. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



w\\\ I give myself to thee, body and soul ! Hearest thou, Satan ! 
Come and destroy my father, and all who have here come out 
to murder me, only leave me a little while longer in this life to 
do thy service, and then I am thine for eternity ! " 

Now all eyes were turned in fear and horror to the door, but 
no Satan entered, for the just God would not permit it, else, 
mcthinks, he would have run to catch such a morsel for his 
supiKT. However, the old man trembled, and seemed dwin- 
dling away into nothing before the eyes of the bystanders as 
his son uttered the curse. But he soon recovered, and laying 
his quivering hands upon the head of the imprecator, broke forth 
into loud weeping, while he prayed thus — 

'* O Thou just and Almighty God, who bringest the 
devices of the wcked to nought, close Thine ears against this 
horrible curse of my false son ; remember Thine own word — 
« Into an enl soul wisdom cannot enter, nor dwell in a body 
subject unto sin.** Thou alone canst make the sinful soul 
wise, and the body of sin a temple of the Holy Ghost. O 
I . ord Jesus Christ, hast Thou no drop of living water, no crumb 
of stR^ngthening manna for this sinful and foolish soul ? Hast 
Thou no glance of Thy holy eyes for this denjnng Peter, that 
he may go fortli and weep bitterly ? Hast Thou no word to 
strike the heart of this dying thief— of this lost son, who, 
here bound for death, has cursed his own father, and given 
himself up, Ixxly and soul, to the enemy of mankind ? O 
blessed Spirit, who comest and gocst as the wind, enter the 
heavenly temple, which is yet the work of Thy hands, and 
make it, by Thy presence, a temple of the Most High ! O 
Lord God, dwell there but one moment, that so in his death- 
anguish he may feel the sweetness of Thy presence, and the 
heaven-high comfort of Thy promise! O Thou Holy 
Trinity, who hast kept my steps from fdling, through so much 
care and trouble, through so much shame and disgrace, through 
so much watching and tears, and even now through theae tcr^ 

* Wisdom i. 4. 
vou I. X 



SIDONIA TUK SOKCKRKSS 



rii)l(r curHCft of my Hon, conic nnd miy Amen to this my ktut 
hlcHHiri)',, whicli I, poor fiitlicr, y\vir him ihr \m cume. 

" YcH, Johann; tlic LonI bUm thee and kcrcj) thcc in th^* 
(irath hour* The Lord Hhcd IiIh y/mtc on thrc, and give thcc 
|Krac<r in thy laHt a;^;onirH I 

YvHf Johann ; the i^ord i)IeNH thee and kcc|) thee, and give 
thee iH:ace upon earth, and {>c<ice hIk^vc tlic eartli ! Amen, 
amen, amen ! " 

When the trenii)]ing old man h;ul «o prayed, many wqyt 
ahnul, and hh Mm tremlihrd tikewiHe, and foHowed the priest, 
wlently and huml)ly, intf) the nei^jlilwmrin;», chamlier. 

Then the old man turned U) Sidonia, and asked why she 
h;ul left her worthy cousin Marcus of Saat/Jg ? 

Upon which slie told him, weepin^i;, how his son ha<l de- 
ceived her, in order to get her onctr more into his power^ in 
ord(rr that he might rob h(rr, and all she wanted now was to be 
let go her way in jH*ace to her farm-houses in Zachow. 

15ut this the old man refuwd. 
No ; this must not Ixr yet* She was as evil-minded as his 
own son, and needed an example to warn her from sin. Not 
a step should she move till his head was off." 

And, for this purpose, he l)id two burghers wn'jx hold of 
her l)y the hands, and carry her to the scaffold when the 
execution was going to take place. The grave must Ix; nearly 
ready now, which he bade them dig in ;t corner of the church- 
yard dow: by, and he had ordered a car-lo;ul of wind like- 
wist; to be laid down tliere, for the execution should take 
place in the churchyard. 

Meanwhile th<r ]XH)r criminal has come out of the inner 
chamU'r with M. Vitus, and going up U> the Inmch where 
the |K)or father had sunk down exhausted l)y emotion, he 
flings himself at his feet, excLiiming, with the prodigal son 
in the paral)le — 

<* h'ather, I have sinned Inrfore heaven and in thy sight, 
and am no more worthy to l>e culled thy son." 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



Then he kissed his feet, and bedewed them with his 
I cars. 

Now the father thought this was all pretence, as formerly, 
so he gave no answer. Upon which the poor sinner rose up, 
and reached his hand to each one in the chamber, praying 
their forgiveness for all the evil he had done, but which he 
was now going to expiate in his blood, //nw, he advanced 
to Sidonia, sighing — 

" Would not she too forgive him, for the love of God ? 
Woe, alas ! She had more to forgive than any one ; but 
would not she give him her pardon, for some comfort on 
this last journey ; and so would he bear her remembrance 
before the throne of God ? " 

But Sidonia pushed away his hand. 
He should be ashamed of such old-womanish weakness. 
Did he not see that his father was only trying to frighten 
him ? For were he in earnest, then were he more cruel even 
than her own unnatural father, who, though he had only 
left her two cabins in Zachow, out of all his great riches, 
yet had left her, at least, her poor life." 

Hereupon the poor sinner made answer — 

" Not so ; I know my father ; he is not cruel ; what he 
does is right ; therefore I willingly die, trusting in my blessed 
Saviour, whose body will sanctify my body in the grave. 
For had I committed no other sin, yet the curse I uttered 
just now is alone sufficient to make me worthy of death, 
as it is written — *He that curseth father or mother shall 
surely be put to death.' " * 

When the old man heard such-like words, he resolved to 
put his son*s sincerity to the test, for truly it seemed to him 
impossible that the Almighty God should so suddenly make 
the crooked straight, and the dead to live, and a child of 
heaven out of a child of hell. So he spake — 

«*Thy repentance seemeth good unto me, my son, what 
* Exodus xxi. 17. 



SI DON I A TIIK SOHCKKKSS 



iw'iyrfft tJiou? will it l;mt, think you, if I now Im'hIow thy life 
on tiMT?" 

Ifrn-;it Sidonia laiij'Ju'J nloud, ex claim in);— 
« Said I not ri^dit ? It wuh .ill ;i jcht of tliy drar fathcr'»«" 
But the? |K)or Minnrr woidd not turn a)',ain tr> Iii» wallowing 
in tli(? min*. I U' nut down upon a Unidif covering hifi face 
witli liin liandn, and »r)i)|jrd aloud. At lant he answered— 

Alat»! fatlirr, lifiir in nwcct and dtrath ih bitter; Injt «ince 
the Holy Spirit hath enteied into me with the lK)dy (ff our 
l/ordy I miyf d^ath in nwm and life m hitter. No; off with 
my head ! * I find a law in niy mcnihe;» waning; a);ainiit the 
law of niy ftpitit, and making', me a pii^onrr uruler the law of 
«in for if I i»ee my nei^diUiur lieh and I am prxir, then 
demon of (:ovetounne>»ri rifH-n in m«', and my Hnj^ern itch to 
fH'i/e my Hhare. Or, if tlic foamin;', fiattk \n l;eh>re tue, how 
can I rchint. to drain it, for the opirit of )dut.tony iff within 
me? if I itee a maid'-n, the hlorMi throh'» in my veint^ 

and tlH* d«'mon of lu(»t \vm t;ikrn potKH'fMiion of me. * Oh^ 
wrHrlii'd man that I am, who will c|cliv<*r nw from the bixiy 
of thin death?' Y(i\i will, dearn»t father. You will rclcane 
me from thi« life, an you (nice ;»ave it lo me, for it \n now 
a life in death. Ah! hIiow mercy! Come quickly, and 
release me from the Unly of thi»i death ! " 

When he ceaned, the old man ftpruri}', up like a youth, and 
piei):>in;', h'lH lont mui to hift heait., fiohU'd forth like him of 
the Cio«tjicl — 

O friendd, uee ! 'Tliitt my nori wa>i dead, hut it* alive 
a;'aiii ; he wau lout, and hi found.* Yea, yea, wc all that 
nothing* iu impoi»«»ihle with Ciod. O Thou Holy Trinity, 
I'athe;-, SfMi, and Holy iSpiiit, now I have nothin;; more to 
aftk, hut that I t^)0 may noon Ih* releawd fiom the Unly of 
thi'i death, an<l yn forth to meet, my new-found non amidiit 
the l>M;»ht <:ircle of the Holy An;'ehi." 
Then the ;ion an«iwie<I 

' Kitiumv, v»i. a j. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 325 



" Let me go now, father. See, the morning dawn shines 
ah cady through the window ; so hath the loving mercy of my 
God come to me, who sat in darkness and the shadow of 
death. Farewell, father ; let me go now. Away with this 
head in the clear early morning light, so that my feet be fixed 
for evermore upon the path to peace." 

And so speaking, he seized M. Vitus by the hand, who 
was sobbing loudly, as well as most of the burghers, and the 
executioner with his assistants bearing the coffin were going 
to follow, when the old man, who had sunk down upon a 
bench, called back his son, though he had already gone out 
at the door, and prayed the executioner to let him stay one 
little while longer. For he remembered that his son had a 
welt upon his neck, and he must see whether it would 
interfere with the sword. Woe, woe ! if he should have to 
strike twice or thrice before the head fell I 

So the executioner remox'ed the neck-cloth from the poor 
sinner (who, by the great mercy of God, was stronger than 
any of them), and having felt the welt, said — 

" No ; the welt was close up to the head, but he would 
take the neck in the middle, as indeed was his usual custom. 
His worship may make his mind quite easy ; he would 
stake his life on it that the head would fall with the first 
blow. This was his one hundred and fiftieth, and he never 
yet had failed." 

Then the unhappy criminal tied his cravat on again, took 
M. Vitus by the hand, and said — 

" Farewell, my father ; once more forgive me for all that 
I have done ! " 

After which he went out quickly, without waiting to hear 
a word more from his father, and the executioner followed 
liim. 

Meanwhile the afflicted father was sore troubled in mind. 
Three times he repeated the text — •* Ye shall not respect 
persons in judgment, nor be afraid of the fece of man, for 



ftrnOMA THK SORCRRRSS 



thf. 'fud foment ih Ood'ft." Thf-n he callerl upon Göd to 
frir^'WfT t.hf: F'rinc^ who, by uk'iuf^ away law and jcatice from 
thf* lar^l, h;i^l obli^,rcf him f/> the }u(lf[f- anrl coAdemner of 
hi« w>n. How the f .ord rlralt with thfr Prince wt nhalJ hesir 
fjirthfT on. One whil^r he scDt mine hofit to look Ofcr the 
hfdy^Cf Hnfi t^ll him if f.he ht^Ml vftrrt: off yet. Then he 
woijj^l fjr^m t/> pray that he mi^'^t Jioon follow thw poor sofif 
who had never y'wm him one moment of joy but through hii 
death, ami jiaA<i quickly after him thrr>u^h the vale of tearc* 

The ft/>n, howf-ver, i« ftt/radfa^t unto the end. For when 
th<^ rf'^ichrd the churchyard, he hu^(h\ «tili a while fg^iing 
on the hf-ap of »and. 'J'hen he desirerl to l)e led to the tpot 
wh'-re hi.<» yriivf. was dwy, ; and n«ir thi» same ^jravc there 
b'in;^, a t/>ml)<;t/>n'-, t^n which waA fi;^ur#;tl a man kneeling 
U'fore a crucifix, he a^ked — 

" Who was t/> fth;ire hi» ;'rave Ijed here?" 

Wh'rmjpon M. Vitu» rq^lied — 

" He w;ift a m//>r ^/rW^r out of .Star;»ard, a very learned 
m;iri, who r'-tirrd from ;u;tive life, and nettled down 

JifT^' at IJruchhaufl' n, whrr^* he di^'d next Ion;; wnce/' 

WJifvat tJie j;r>/>r ftinri'T st/KKl »tili a while, and then 
rty^iiUul this l>^iutifu) di/ttich, no rlouU by the inftpiration of 
tlw Holy C/hrM, to warn all h:;trned ftinnerft againftt that 
drmon of pride and vain-;dory which loo ofu-n tikes poi- 
w'ftsion of them. 

f-.i f;i/j/:r»/|;i fiit/in «t filfji»;rKl;i f tr.hf" * 

Tli'-ri }if looked c;drrily at liift j^/ave, and only prayed the 
e/<r<:utiorirr not to put his li*';id U-tween his fret ; after which 
Iir /Kurfird to tli*- Hnw\-Ui^ii\f ami exclaimed — 

** Now to (*,<n\ ! " 

Upon which, M. Vitus lil' ss'-fl him yft a^'ain, and spake — 

^ " Wim« r, fh" uniT of Ut}'twU:i\yr ;iri'l all ffiir infinit*: l/!;irriin(;, 
Ff wt-. Ily wtifit i-, ri^hf an'l flo whal wf! oii^jht to fly/" 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 327 



" O God, Father, who hast brought back this lost son, 
and Tilled this foolish soul with wisdom ; ah ! Jesus, Saviour, 
who, in truth, hast turned Thy holy eyes on him as on the 
denying Peter and on the dying thief. O Holy Spirit, 
who hast not scorned to make this poor vessel a temple for 
Thyself to dwell in, that in the death-anguish this sinner may 
find the sweetness of Thy presence and the heaven-high com- 
fort of Thy promises ! O Thou Holy Trinity — ^to Thee — 
to Thee — ^to Thee — ^to Thy grace. Thy power. Thy protection, 
we resign this djring mortal in his last agonies. Help him, 
Lord God ! Kyrie Eleison / Give Thy holy angels command 
to bear this poor soul into Abraham's bosom. O come. 
Lord Jesus ; help him, O Lord our God. Kyrie Eleison / 
Amen.'' 

And hereupon he pronounced a last blessing over him. 
And when the executioner took off his upper garment and 
bound the kerchief over his eyes, M. Vitus again spake — 

" Think on the holy martyrs, of whom Basilius Magnus 
testifies that they exclaimed, when undressing for their death 
— A^on vestes exuimusy sed veterem bomsnem deponimus.** * 

LTpon which he answered from under the kerchief some- 
thing in Latin, but the executioner had laid the cloth so 
thickly even over his mouth and chin, that no one could catch 
the words. Then he kneeled down, and while the executioner 
drew his sword, M. Vitus chanted — 

" When my lips no more can speak, 
May Thy Spirit in me cry ; 
When my eyes are flEunt and weak, 
May my soul see Heaven nigh ! 

When my heart is sore dismayed. 
This dying frame has lost its strength, 

May my spirit, with Thy aid. 
Cry — ^Jesu, take me home at length ! " 

* We lay not off our clothes, but the old man." — Basil the Great, 
Archbishop of Caesarea, A.D. 379. 



.328 



SIDONIA THK SORCKKKSS 



And all who hUxhI round hhw, uh it were, a wonderful 
8i)>n from (Uk\ ; for uh th<* executioner let the Hword fall» 
head and Hun appeared at the name moment — the head upon 
the earthy the rmn alK>ve the earth $ and there wa« a deep 
»ilence. Sidonia alone lau^^Jied out loud, and cried, ^*Ho 
cmh the conversion ! '* And while the prnilm wan »inging, 
" Now, pray we to the Holy CJho«*t," the executioner acting 
UH clerk, «he disapjMriired, and for thirty yearn, as we »hall 
hear presently, no one could a^cert'iin where she went to or 
how she lived ; thou^^Ji sometimes, like a horrible ghofft, «he 
was s en occasionally here and th**rt*. 

Summa, — ^riie miserable crimimil was laid in his coffin, and 
as, in truth, it was too short for the corpse, and the \H)Or «inner 
had requested that his head mi;dit not lie placed Ixrtwcen his 
feet, so it was laid upon his chest, with his hands folded over 
it, and thus he was buried. 

The old father rejoiced ^»reatly that his son remained stead- 
fast in the truth until the last, and thanked (Uh\ for it* Then 
he returned to Suir^'ard ; and I may just mention, to conclude 
concerning; him, that the merciful Clod heard the prayer of this 
His faithful servant, for he scarcely survived his son a year, 
but, after a short illness, fell asleep in JeHUs/ 

CHAFrivR XIX. 

0/ Si/loMi (lu/tf*fßearanre for thirty yean — Item^ how the 
youtiy^ Prlmrji Kli%aheth Ma^delene nvas poneued by 
a dnnly and of the sudden death of her father^ Krnest 
LudtAHcuM of Pomerania. 

1 HAVk said that Sidonia disappeared aftiT the execution at 
IJruchhausen, an<l that for thirty years no one knew where 

* Iwif furlh»T \m\\t\\\h\xs wnwrfiirij/ ilii'. truly w'/rtliy man, wlio may 
witll U: vwWA ilir Vii\\\t:r.\.%\v,w\ M;iriliir., Fiir' Irl Kirn, " iMw.rifition 
of (;1<1 Sicttifi," vol. ii. p. Ji.j; ;tn<l IfcuthoM, romenirijan IH«trjry," 
pp. 4^ 41V. 



SIDONIA THK SORCERESS 



3^9 



she lived or how she lived. At her farm-house at Zachow 
she never appeared ; but the Acta CrimtnaTm set forth that 
during that period she wandered about the towns of Freien- 
\v;ild, Regenwald, Stargard, and other places, in company 
with Peter Konnemann and divers other knaves. 

However, the ducal prosecutor, although he instituted the 
strictest inquiries at the period of her trial, could ascertain 
nothing beyond this, except that, in consequence of her evil 
habits and licentious tongue, she was held everywhere in fear 
and abhorrence, and was chased away from every place she 
entered after about six or eight o'clock. Further, that some 
misfortune always fell upon every one who had dealings with 
her, particularly young married people. To the said Konne- 
mann, she betrothed herself after the death of her first 
jxiramour, but afterwards gave him fifty florins to get rid of the 
contract, as she confessed at the seventeenth question upon 
the rack, according to the Actis Lothmannu Meantime her 
brother and cousins were so completely turned against her, 
that her brother even took those two farm-houses to himself ; 
and though Sidonia wrote to him, begging that an annuity 
might be settled on her, yet she never received a line in 
answer — and this was the manner in which the whole cousin- 
hood treated her in her despair and poverty. 

I myself made many inquiries as to her mode of life during 
those thirty years, but in vain. Some said that she went 
into Poland and there kept a little tavern for twenty years ; 
some had seen her living at Rügen at the old wall, where in 
heathen times the goddess Hertha was honoured. Some 
said she went to Rüden, a little uninhabited island between 
Rügen and Usdom, where the wild geese and other birds 
flock in the moulting season and drop their feathers. Thence, 
they said, she gathered the eggs, and killed the birds with 
clubs. At least this was the story of the Usdom fishermen, 
but whether it were Sidonia or some other outcast woman, I 
cannot in strict verity declare. Only in Freienwald did I 



330 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



hear for certain that she lived there twelve years with some 
carl whom she called her shield- knight ; but one day they 
quarrelled, and beat each other till the blood flowed^ after 
which they both ran out of the town, and went different 
ways. 

Summa. — On the ist of May 1 592, when the witches gather 
in the Drocken to hold their Walpurgis night, and the princely 
castle of Wolgast was well guarded from the evil one by 
white and black crosses placed on every door, an old wrinkled 
hag was seen about eight o'clock of the morning (just the 
time she had returned from the Blocksberg, according to my 
thinking), walking slowly up and down the great corridor of 
the princely castle. And the providence of the great Grod 
so willed it that at that moment the young and beautiful 
Princess 1 Elizabeth Magdalena (who had been betrothed to 
the Duke Frederick of Courland) opened her chambcr-door 
and slipped forth to pay her morning greetings to her illut- 
trious father, Duke liirnest, and his spouse, the Lady Sophia 
Hedwig of Brunswick, who sat together drinking their warm 
beer,* and had sent for her. 

So the hag advanced with much friendliness and cried out. 
Hey, what a beautiful young damsel ! But her lord papa 
was called < the handsome ' in his time, and wasn't she at 
like him as one egg to another. Might she take her lady- 
ship's little hand and kiss it ? " Now as the hag was bold in 
her bearing, and the young Princess was a timid thing, she 
feared to refuse ; so she reached forth her hand, alas ! to the 
witch, who first three times blew on it, murmuring some 
words before she kissed it ; then as the young Princess asked 
her who she was and what she wanted, the evil hag answered, 
" I would speak with your gracious father, for I have known 
him well. Ask his princely Grace to come to me, for I 
have somewhat to say to him." Now the Princess, in her 

* Dcforc the introduction of coffee or chocolate, warm was in 
gcnrjral use at twcakfitst. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 331 



simplicity, omitted to ask the hag*s name, whereby much 
evil came to pass, for had she told her gracious father that 
Siix)NiA wished to speak to him, assuredly he never would 
have come forth, and that fatal and malignant glance of the 
witch would not have fallen upon him. 

However, his Serene Grace, having a mild Christian 
nature, stepped out into the corridor at the request of his 
dear daughter, and asked the hag who she was and what she 
wanted. Upon this, she fixed her eyes on him in silence for 
a long while, so that he shuddered, and his blood seemed to 
tui n to ice in his veins.* At last she spake : It is a strange 
thing, truly, that your Grace should no longer remember the 
maiden to whom you once promised marriage." At this 
his Grace recoiled in horror, and exclaimed, Ha, Sidonia ! 
but how you are changed." " Ah ! " she answered, with a 
scornful laugh, " you may well triumph, now that my cheek 
is hollow, and my beauty gone, and that I have come to you 
for justice against my own brother in Stramehl, who denies 
me even the means of subsistence — ^you, who brought me to 
this pass." 

Upon which his Grace answered that her brother was a 
subject of the Duke of Stettin. Let her go then to Stettin, 
and demand justice there. 

////J. — ** She had been there, but the Duke refused to sec 
her, and to her request for a pntbenda in the convent of Marien- 
llicss had returned no answer. She prayed his Grace, there- 
fore, out of old good friendship, to take up her cause, and use 
his influence with the Lord Duke of Stettin to obtain the 
pr4thenda for her, also to send a good scolding to her brother 
at Stramehl under his own hand." 

Now my gracious Prince was so anxious to get rid of her, 

♦ This belief in the witchcraft of a glance was very general during 
the >\-iich period. And even the ancients notice it (Pliny, Hist Nat. 
vii. 2), also Aul Gell. Noct Attic, ix. 4 ; and Virgil, Eclog. iii. 103. 
The glance of a woman with double pupils was particularly feared. 



SIDONIA THK SOHCKUKSS 



that he* promiHcd cvcrythinj» «hc nnVvd, Whereupon she 
would kiHH WiH hand, liut he drew it l>;ick shudderin;;, u|>on 
which «he went down the ;;reat castle «tq>H a^ain, murmuring 
to herself. 

But her wickedncHfi Hoon came to li^ht; for mark — 
scarcely a f(*w days had pass(*d over^ when the beautiful 
young Princess was possessed by Satan ; she rolls herself 
u|K)n the ground y twists and writhes her hands and feeU 
sjK'aks with a great coarse voice like a common carl^ blas- 
phemes Ood and her parents; and what was more wonderful 
than ally her throat swelled, and when they laid their hand on 
it, something living seemed creeping up and down in \U Then 
it went up to her mouth, and her tongue swelled so, that her 
eyes s'*emed sttrting from their sockets, and the gracious ycning 
lady liecame fearful to look at. 

//rm, then she l>egan to sp'ak Latin, though she had 
never learned this tongue, whereujKin many, and in [litrticular 
Mag. Miciiael Aspius, the court chaplain (for i)r. Gerscho- 
vius was Ion); since dead) pronounced that Sat'in himself verily 
must Im: in the maiden.* This was fully proved on the 

* 'Ihn am.Umin n;im«j Uirw rli",iinj;ui?{fiirifj riKirk.*; of rlftmonhical pos- 

f'/i'/.ion : - 

r,t, Wli(?n \\n: |«ili<Tnt lil;inpfii'ifir!'; ()trt\ unri f::irinot rcfjcat the lenri« 
ifiy, artir.l'!^ of hin DiriHtiiin Utlirf, 

ui\(\, Whrn Im forfrUrll-i t:vt:uin wfiirfi :iUi;rwiirt\r, r,(jwc to |;aftÄ, 

Wfirn hn s|>»!ak» in a Ktranf;^! toMjjiir, wfiich it Gin lje jirovcd he 
never learnrM. 

Now w;mnanilrtili';l3 (>f our flay fulfil tin: »,#Tf:oml ftnd thirfl conrli- 
tionjj without #li%piitft ; and fionnr m f:ount for thf? flivinin^ ])f)Wt^ \fy sayinf( 
it i', tli<: rffr(:t of the Uu rr/.r^-tl ;jf;tivity of the */;iil. 'I'liey al.v; assert 
that the p;itient in a fitr;iii|^e ton^Mi" only when the ma^tint liter 

with whom he \ \ in r» ra/iport Mrwler.',tafid'4 the torifjiie hiniwlf, and the 
{latient .'.peak", it UrrauvT jiII the thoii^ht'i, feelinijn, wor^h, Ä^e,, f;f the 
o(;*!rator UTf:orne \v\'.', in ;.hort, their f.oul i lie^ om«« r>ne. ThiM exf;lann- 
tion, however, ir; very iinproUihle, ;in/I ha*; not Uren /onfirmefl liy faets; 
for the plienomenon of '..\)*':\V'\\\\\ in a ?.tr;ifi>je tongue often afifienrx 
U'for*' Ji jH'rf<*f t rnpporl \v.\':, l;<r<-n obt;iined l;etwe<-ri the p:itient arwl ilie 
operator. Indeed, I'vrlhrs fjive-, ;ifj ifntanr^T to r.how that it it not rvrn 
at 'a\\ nerej;'>;ify. (I'w:llii', live»! Ahaw the eleventh (.enlury, and wrr^te 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



following Sunday ; for during divine service in the Church 
of Sl Peter, the young Princess was carried in on a litter and 
laid down before the altar, whereupon she commenced utter- 
ing horrible blasphemies, and mocking the holy prayer in a 
coarse bass voice, while she foamed and raged so violently, 
that eight men could scarcely hold her in her bed. Whereat 
the whole Christian congregation were admonished to pray to 
the Lord for this poor maiden, that she might be freed from 
the devil within her ; and during the week all priests through- 
out the land were commanded to oflfer up prayers day and 
night for her princely Grace. But on Sundays all the people 
were to unite in one common supplication to the throne of 
grace for the like object. 

And it seemed, after some weeks, as if God had heard 
their prayers, and commanded Satan to leave the body of the 
young maiden, for she had now rest for fourteen days, and 
was able to pray again. Also her rosy cheeks began to 

A* Opemtione Decmonum, also De Afysieriis j^gyptioi urn, his works 
are very remarkable, and well worth a perusal. ) He states that a sick 
woman all at onoe began to speak in a strange and barbarous tongue 
no one had ever heard before. At last some of the women about her 
brought an /Nxmenian magician to see her, who instantly foimd that she 
spoke Armenian, though she had neN-er in her life beheld one of that 
nation. Psellus describes him as an old lean wrinkled man. He acted 
ciuiie difierently from our modern magnelisers, for he never sought to 
pUie^ himself in sympathetic relation with her by passes or touches ; on 
the contrary, he drew his sword, and placing himself beside the bed, 
l)cg;\n uttering tlie most harsh and cruel words he could think of in the 
Armenian tongue {acriier conviciatus est). The woman retorted in the 
Armenian tongue likewise, and tried to get out of bed to fight with him. 
Then the barbarian grew as if mad, and endeavoured to stab her, upon 
which she shrunk back terrified and trembling, and soon fell into a deep 
alcep. Psellus seems to have witnessed this, for lie says tlie woman w;\s 
w iie to his eldest brother. As further regards demoniacal possession, 
the New Testament is full of examples thereof; and though in the last 
century the reality of the fact was assailed, yet Franz Meyer has again 
tiefende^ it with arguments that cannot be overthrown. Remarkable 
examples of possession in modern times we find in the DiJisluilia, No. 
8 1, of the year 1833, and in Benier's " History of Satanic Possession," 
p. 20. 



SIDONIA THK SORCKRKSS 



l)lrK)ni ancr mon> no tli.it \wr parent n W(M'c* fillrd with joy^ 
and rroolvnl U) hold a thank -fcHtival throu}*hout the? land, 
and rrcciv«: the Holy Sacraini'nt in Sl Vi^icr'n Church witli 
thrir U'lovrd <lau)»htf-r. 

But what hapiM'nrd ? l«'or an the ^',odly (liicouriKr had 
i'lulvilf and their C/racc» HtepjX'd to thtr ultiir to make a rich 
oHfi-rin)^, on the plate which lay ujion the little dtrnkf free of 
approach front all itideH, niy knave Satan h;ui ;i;;ain begun 
hin work. Truly, he waited with cunnin;> till her Grace 
had ((Wallowed the iSacranienty that hin lilanphemic« mi|0it 
Nei'ni more horrihle. And thi» waH the way he nvinifcfted 
hiniHi'ir. 

After the court niandial and the caHtellan had laid down a 
hlack velvet carpel, enihroidrred in j'old with the Pomeranian 
and Hrandenhur); arnin, for their (/raceii to kneel ujion, they 
took another hlack velvet cloth, on which the I ioly Hu\HM!r 
waif represented embroidered in iiilver, to hold l^'forc their 
(rtmu'H like a iierviett^*, while they receivtrd the bleiMMxl 
elemerit.fi. Then advanced the prieht with the Sacranicnt» but 
Hcarcely had the j'^racioun youtiy, PrincertH Nwallowcd the 
iiame, when Hhe uttered a loud cry and fell backwardu with 
her head u}K)n the ;M(>und, while Satan ra/^ed ho in her tluit it 
mi)dit have melted the heart oi a «tone. 

So M. Aüpiuff hade the or;'an ceafM*, and then placed the 
youn)', lady upon a neat, afU'r which he called ujKin their 
irr.u'm and the whole conyrcyiiUim to join him in ofTering 
up a prayer. Thefi he fK)lenmly adjun-d the evil »pirit to 
come out of her; it, however, had )',rown M) daring that 
it only lau;died at the pfi<'nt; and when aHked where it 
had been for w) Ion;',, and in particular where it had lain 
while the JeHU bride wan wedded to her IJoly Saviour in the 
MlehfM'd Sacrament, it impati<Mitly annwen'd that it hiu\ lain 
under her ton;Mie ; many knaven mijdit lie under a l>ridgc 
while an l^mourable wi^'^neur panwd r^veihead, and why 
nhould not it do the like? And here, to the iinn]ie;tkable 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 335 



horror of the whole congregation, it seemed to move up and 
down in the chest and throat of the young Princess, like some 
animal. 

But the long-sufJering of God was now at an end, for 
while the Reverend Dr. Aspius was talking himself weary 
with adjurations, and gaining no good by it, for the evil 
spirit only mocked and jeered him, crying, " Look at the fat 
parson how he sweats, maybe it will help as much as his 
chattering over the wine,** who should enter the church 
(sent no doubt by the all-merciful God) but the Reverend 
Dr. Joel, Professor at Grypswald, for he had heard how 
this lusty Satan had taken possession of the princely maiden. 
When the devil saw him, he began to tremble through all 
the limbs of the young Princess, and exclaimed in Latin, 
" Consummahtm * For this Dr. Joel was a powerful 
man, and learned in all the cunning shifts of the arch-enemy, 
haN^ing many times disputed de MagU*\ 

Now when he advanced to the young Princess, and saw 
how the evil spirit ran up and down her poor form, like a 
mouse in a net, he was filled with horror, and removing 
his hat, exclaimed, without taking much heed of his Latin, 
" Deus mitereatur ptccatoris** Upon which the devil, in a 
deep bass voice, corrected him, crying, " Dk peccatrids^ die 
peccatrtcis** \ 

However, Satan himself felt that his hour had come ; for 
when Doctor Joel laid his hand upon the maiden, and re- 
peated a powerful adjuration from the Clavicula Sa/omonisy 
Satan immediately promised to obey if he were allowed to 
take away the oblation-cloth which lay upon the desk, 
///f. — «* What did he want with the oblation-cloth > '* 
Saianas. — There was a coin in it which vexed him.** 
/ÄP. — " What coin could it be, and wherefore did it vex 
him?** 

* It is over." f Of Witchcraft ; see Barthold. iv. a, 41X 

^ Peccatoris is masculine, Peccalricis feminine. 



SIDONIA IHK SOKCKRKSS 



Salm/ti. — "Hr would not w-iy." 
Jllf, (AdjurcH him a;^iin.) 

Sutntuu, — Lcrt liini have it, or h(? wouKI U-ar the young 
niai(l<'fi to |>ir<:i'M." And \\vrv \u: Uyiin to foam and rage 
Mi hoiiihiy, tliat her rycH tiirmrd in her hciul, anA the 
;',naHhcd with her u-ctli, ;io that fath< r am! mother had to 
covrr tlirif I'yrn not to »<•<? her jjrrat a^'ony. Whertfupoa 
Doctor .loci U-nt down and wroti- with hin fln^^cr upon htr 
hnraot the 'i'irtia;;ianifnaUjn,* <:ryin;» (^ut — 

Away, thou uncdcan Hpifit, and j'jvc place to the Holy 
(;ho/.t! " 

U)ion which thr youn;', maiden nank down an quiet a« a 
cotpftr, and \\\f ohlation-cloth, which lay u|ion the detk» 
wliiilrd found of \wM in tlwr middle of the church with 
yiv'.xi noiw anri clatUT, an if iK-i/<-<l by a »U^rm-wiml, and 
the mrinry th'T'-in w;ifi all iicattnrd alKMjt thrr church» 10 
that the (ild wivcn who hixi \i\ni\\ the ix iichcH frll down upon 
the floor, ii;',ht and h-ft, to tiy anrl cati:h it. 

(irr-al hot I or and ama/rmmt now filled the whole con- 
)Mc;^ition ; yet au fiomc had exprcNM'd an o]>inion that the 
youn;', I'lincrfin wan only alHictcd i)y a hickneiM, and not 
|KihfM-4rtrd at all, l)octoi .lo<'l tlioufdit it needful to admoniih 
tli'-m in the loilowin/. woidi»: — 

**'V\m}W' wiM* \H'.\w)m who, forfK>oth, would not crctJit iuch 
a thin;', ah Satinic |iOf*f>i*Mfiion, mi;',ht M'e now of a truths by 
the ohlation-doth, that Sat^in Innlily had Ixren amongut them* 
lie knew there were many auch wifn' knavcM in the church; 
therefore let them hold their u»ti;',ue for evermore, and re* 
mernlK-r that nucli rti;Mjf» had l>een jiermitted l>efore of God, 
to t^'utiiy of the real lirxlily presence of the devil. I'ixample 
(Matt, viii.), wheie^ on the connnand of Chrint, a ley;ton 
ii\ deviU went into the nwine of the ()e;;>affeneii ; that 
tliefKr animalfi, conti ary Uy their nature, fan down into the aea 



* 'I lif UiWt \t'\\n: wliK.li f.itu\]tii-r. Ilm n;iiiip Jntiovati (nin*)i ft WIM 
u«iil/loyi:fl by tliT 1 Ut'Miy^x A: iti ihfrir iiioM \HiVH'.t\\x\ U;tijuraiiMUb 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



337 



and were drowned. But the wise people of this day little 
hccvl these divine signs ; so he will add two from historical 
records which he happened to remember. 

** First, the Jew Josephus relates that, in presence of the 
world-renowned Roman captain Vespasian, of his son Titus, 
also of all the officers and troops of the army, an ac- 
quaintance of his, by name Eleazer, adjured the devil out of 
one possessed by means of the ring of Solomon, repeating 
at the same time the powerful spell which, no doubt, the 
great king himself employed to control the demons, and 
which, probably, was the very one he had just now exor- 
cised the devil with, out of the Ciavicula Salomoms. And 
to show the bystanders that it was indeed a devil which 
he had exorcised out of the nose of the patient, tlie said 
Kleazer bid him, as he was passing, to overturn a vessel of 
water that lay there, which indeed was done, to the great 
wonderment of all present. Thus e^-en the blind heathen 
were convinced, though the would-be wise of the present day 
ignorantly doubted. 

But people might say this happened in old times, and was 
only told by a stupid Jew ; therefore he would give a modern 
example. 

There was a woman named Kronisha (she was still well 
remembered by the old people of Stralsund), who was sorely 
given to pomp and vanity, wherefore a devil was sent into 
her to punish her ; and after the preacher at St. Nicholas 
had exorcised him to the best of his power, the wicked 
spirit said, mockingly, that he would go if they gave him 
a jxme of glass out of the window over the tower door ; and 
this being granted, one of the panes was instantly scattered 
u-ith a loud clang, and the devil flew away through tlie 
opening.* 

So the Christian congregation might now sec what silly 

• Sec Sastro>»"en, his family, birth, and adventures. Edited by 
Äfohnike, part i. 73. 

VOU U V 



SIDOMA J MK SOKCKKKSS 



fbolM titcixr v/'iM' \H'.i)\t\v wcKr who |jr<*f»unu'(l U) doulit,'' &c* 
'i*li<'n Doctor J ocrl ;ulnioriiHlir(l tJur Prince liiiniMrlf to kcty a 
(lili;;(rnt rycr over tlii» Sattn, who, day by day, w.'iH growing 
fiion* iitijmth'Mt in the land -no doubt iMrcauM? the pure doctrine 
of Dr. Luther vexed liirti Horely. 

And inch'cd hifi i ii^'jincrHH, to nhow IiIh );ratitude for the re- 
covery iii \m (hrar dau^'JiUrr, did not cvnnc in Uih endeavours to 
baniMli witchtrH from the land, km; win)', that Sidonia hud brou^ 
all the evil upon the youn^', IVincetm. I' ilteen w<rre «ei^urd and 
burned at tluH time, to the );reat joy of the country ; but, alai ! 
tliew; truly princely and Chiintian mtr^iMureH little he]|M.*d among 
tlx* I'/idh'HK race, inr evil m-fmed »tili to ntren^^then in tlic land^ 
and many wonderful Hi)',nH ap)j<ran'd, one of which I would not 
wrt down here, ;iM it wan only Hi't-ii by the court- frn;!, but that 
eventM confiimed it. 

1 m( an that Htran^^e thin^',, alon;', with a three-le^cd harCf 
which apjM'arcd ei^^hty yrai m bcfon; at the death of Duke Bogi** 
lauft the (ireat, and nince at the death of each Duke of hit 
houm*. 1/y a ittian);e whim oi SaUin^n, thiti ajijmrition wsut only 
vibible to UhAh ; until indeed (aH we f*hall hear anon) it appeared 
to tlx* nunH at Marienflieti», who bore witncHH of it. 

Sunmuu — On the veiy day wh(?icin the <Ievil'« brides were 
bullied at Wol;;aiit, the fool wa» walkin}» at evenin;» time up and 
down the }>reat coriidiir, when a litthr manikin, hardly three 
handH hi^'Jt, iiUirted out from iMrhind a U'er-liarrel, riding on a 
three-le^'^^ed hiue. i fe waH dif hm'd all in black, except little 
red buotii which he had on, and he ridrn up and down the 
coriidor hop! hop! hop ! — i(t;u'e» at my fool and nvdurs a 
face at him ; then riden offa^'ain - hop! hop! hop!— till lie 
vaninhed iM'hind th«' barrel. 

No one would liclirve the fool'» »tory ; but woe^alat! it 
boon Ixrcame ch ar what the little manikin Puck denoted* For 
my |;raciouA Prince, who had ;M'own (piite weak ever »ince tltis 
hijrrible witch- wt^rk, whi<:h had U:en ra^'in^; for »onic weeks— 
w) that I'omcrania never had »een thf like - iK'came daily worse. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



339 



and not even the fine FaJernian wine from Italy, which used 
to cure him, helped him now. So he died on tlie 1 7th July 
15V; I, aged Forty-six years, seven months, and fifteen days, 
leaving his only son, Philippus Julius, a child of eight years old, 
to reign in his place. Whereupon the deeply aiflicted widow 
placed the boy under the tutelage and guardianship of his 
uncle, the princely Lord of Stettin ; but, woe ! woe ! the 
guardian must soon follow his dear brother ! and all through 
tl\e evil wickedness of Sidonia, as we shall hear in the follow- 
ing chapters. 

CHAPTER XX. 

Ho<af Shionia tiantans hrrseff at the Convent of Äfitriaifliess — 
Itcniy bo^' their Princely and Electoral Graces of Pomertuua^ 
Brtimlenhurg^ and Mecklenburg^ went on sletghs to 
gast^ and of the divers pastimes of the journey. 

After this, Sidonia disappeared again for a couple of years, and 
no man knew whither she had flown or what she did, until one 
morning she appeared at the convent of Marienfliess, driving a 
litde one-horse waggon herself, and dressed no better than a 
fish-wife. On driWng into the court, she desired to speak 
with the abbess, Magdalena von Petersdorf; and when she 
came, Sidonia ordered the cell of the deceased nun, Barbara 
Kleist, to be got ready for her reception, as his Highness of 
Stettin had presented her to a pr^benda here. 

So the pious old abbess believed the story, and forthwith con- 
ducted her to the cell. No. 1 1 ; but Sidonia spat out at it, said 
it was a pig-sty, and began to run clattering through all the cells 
till she reached the refectory, a large chamber where the nuns 
assembled for evening prayer. This, she said, was the only 
spot iit for her to put her nose in, and she would keep it for 
herself. Meanwhile, the whole sisterhood ran together to the 
refectory to see Sidonia j and as most of them were girls under 



.340 



SIDONIA TIIK SOIICKKKSS 



twenty, thry titU'M'd .iiifl laii^'ju'd, an younj', wonirn-follc will 
iU) whrn iliry iirliold ;i 'VUih .itijMTrd h(*r. 

IIa! " hIic cxciainicHy «tlic HtrHli and the dcrvil have not 
Ijrirri dcHtroyfci in tlictii yrt, hut I will Mnm ;;iv(; them iiOfne« 
thin;; clfM* to think of than their iovcni." 

And here, an om* oi lUnu lan;du'd louder than the rcit, 
Sidonia ;'ave her a hiow on the mouth. 

'* 1/et that te;if:li the }H'aH:inl-j'n 1 mote reif|M*(:t for a cattle 
and land dowered tiutuU'tu** 

When the jfood alflvritn n;iw and heard all tluN, nhr nearly 
faint(*d with i»hame, and had to hold hy a ntool, or nlie would 
have fiillen U) the «tround. I lowever nhe j»airurd (reith coWAf^Cf 
when, upon aiikin;; loi Sidonia'H docunientn, »he firnjmi that 
there were none lo nhow. Without more ado, therefore, she 
hade her h'ave the convent ; and, amidnt the jeerH and hiuj;hter 
of all the niriteihood, Sidonia wan ohli;;ed to mount lier one- 
horfte (:;irt a;'ain, or the convent {xirtet had ordern to force her out* 

iiy thifi all may )H-rceiv(; that, in place of re|H'ntin;;, SidonU 
had fallen ntill further in tlie mire, wherein rihe wallowed yet 
for many yearn, an if it were, indeed, her true and n«itunil 
element, like that In-etle of which Alhertun Ma;»nu« fffieak«, 
that died if nw covered if. with rov- leaven, hut came to life 
a;'ain when laid in dun)',. 

Ilatdly had nhe left the convent-;>ate when the old ahbcM 
ha le a carl )'et ready a carria;»/*, and flew in it to Stettin hertelf, 
to lay the whole cvn- In-fore my j'/acioun Prince, and entreat 
him, even on her knecii, not U) M-tn\ mtih a^notorioiui creature 
amon)M»t them ; for what hlenninjr could the convent ho{ic to 
ohtJiin if they harUiured nudi an infamoun ninnrr ? So hin (^race 
wondern much over the rlarin;', of the harlot ; for he had ^»iven 
her no pnrlfrmla^ thou;>h nhe wan writing' to him coniiümtly 
re(|uefitinj», one. Nor would he <-vei think of j'jvin)» her one ; 
for why nhould he nend nuch a hell-lH'n/)m to nweep the |iioui 
convent of Marienfli«*Hn ? The j»/kxI ahl^rnn mij'ht rine up, for 
an Ion); an he livffl Sidonia nlKiidd never entei the convent. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 341 



And his Grace held by his word, though it cost him his 
lite, as I shall just dow relate with bitter sighs. 

It happened that, a.D. 1600, there was a terribly hard 
winter, so that the fresh HafF* was quite frozen over, and 
able to bear heavy beams. Now, as the ice was smooth 
and beautiful as a mirror, my Lord of Stettin proposed to 
his guests — Joachim Friedrich, Elector of Brandenburg, his 
brother-in-law, and old Duke Ulrich of Mecklenburg, his 
uncle, to go over the Half in sleighs, and pay a visit to the 
princely widow and her little son. 

Their Graces were well pleased at the idea. Whereupon 
his Highness of Stettin gave orders to have such a proces- 
sion formed as never had been seen in Pomerania before 
for magnificence and beauty, and therefore I shall note down 
some particulars here. 

There were a hundred sleighs, some drawn by reindeer 
cajxirisoncd like horses, and all decorated gaily. The three 
ducal sleighs in particular were entirely girded and lined with 
sable skin ; each was drawn by four Andalusian horses ; and 
my Lady Erdmuth, who was a great lover of show and pomp, 
had hers hung with little tinkling bells and chains of gold, so 
that no one to look at them could imagine how very little of 
the dear gold her gracious lord and husband had in his purse, 
by reason of the hardness of the times. 

The adornments of the other sleighs were less costly. 
Upon them came the ministers, the officials, and others per- 
taining to the retinue of the three princes : Uem^ the ladies- 
in-waiting, and divers of the reverend clergy ; last of all came 
the Duke's henchman, with a pack of wolf-dogs in leash : 
several live hares and foxes; a live bear, which they 
purposed to let slip, for the pleasure and pastime of their 
Graces. But the young men out of the town, fifty head 
strong, and many of the knights, ran along on skates, headed 
by Dinnies Kleist, that mighty man, who bore in one hand 
The riv«i^aft 



.342 SIDONIA 'IHK SOKCKKKSS 



t)ic hhxKl-liaiincr of {'oin<*nifii;i, utid in ilw oilicj' Uiat of 
Ik'.ituU'tiUiiry^, \tuil\u)\t\ \t)U K.iiiiin tan hy Win ftitle with 
iUtr M«'(;kli'nl)iJi j', htimlnul, lie v/'t-* a htt(ftii\ ku\y\ii Uhk 
liiit all ! my (wxi ! liow niy Kamin, witli Win ox-lic;!«!, wa4 
fÜHtancfd l>y the wild nx-n of Pom'-iania, a» tlury ran u|K>n 
till' i<;(r ovi-i fJw Ilafl !* Two nwvi; »I<ri^»h«, drawn by 
nix }* n<fian horM-it, flni«flu'd tin* procrrMiion ; they w«rrfr bulen 
with axf'fty plaiikfi, roj^m, and dry ;'arm<rnU, tn^th for men and 
wom^*n. 

Wlu'ri thrir Oracen motititcd üw tAnylitt amidift the rin;;ing 
of licllit and roarin;> ai cannon, yn-ni wnn their aMonUliniimt 
to Htu- their own initials ht:iiti\n'i\ into the haid ice by l>inni(rs 
Kleirjt, a»» thurj ; 1'. IJ, .1. I',. .1. !•., wiiicli, however, afUTf- 
wanhi cauM'd nnich dinmay to the honeitt biir;',herH, for one of 
theni — M. I'al;*-!, a pra-i rptor miutakin;», th«' J. for a (j., read 
|)lainly upon the : " I' ii;'e, .1. that it>, " l'*Jy, Johann 

I' lederick ! 

Ah ! truly \\:\n the jMacioini I'linc* flown from thence ; but 
it i« \u a hitler death. 

Durin;', the jouriM-y, Duke Johann iiad mu(Ji j''Mtin^; with 
hifi lirother-in-law, the l .hctor, who wai» filled with wonder 
at the fttren;M.h of Dinniei» Kl''i(>t, for he kept ahead even of 
the Andalu<»ian rttallionn, and waved aloft the two kinncrii of 
I'omerania and iirandenlmr;',, while hir> Ion)', hair fU>ated 
U'hind him ; and hometime» he i>to)>)/ed, ki(>'»<'ti the liannerHf 
and then inclined them to their Serene Princely (#races« 
Whereupon l)uke Johann exclaimerl, Ay, brotliirr, ycm 
mi;dit well )nve me a thou'>and of ycMir wide-mouthed 
iVr linerh for thift carl ; thou;di, methinkn, if he had hin will, 
he woulil make their v/ide moutho i>tiil wider." At thiw, hi« 

* 'Ihr l/lood '.t:iri'l;irM v/;i') (Miirif<:rl hy lli<: lMii|/<-i<'t M:ixiiiiiliari \\, 
loliiik'T \tA\:\u\\ V\\i't\\\t\i t,\ l'<«rfii't;irii;i :\\v.t'. U*" t .wwi-A Iti'- irfi|^. 
m:iI \f.\\\ui-\ t\\\\\u\\ Ihr 'iiiil^j-.li v.iif of t'f^K It only fhffrMT'l fiofii 
lh<' t,\i\ |>:iriri<'f t;y h;tviii^; :i r<-'l f/ioiiiiM fioiti lh'-rifr li*. ri;iriii:, IV#ih 
l'f»ffi<-r:ifii;i :iri<l fii;ifi<hMtliiii(^ h:t'l wil<l iiicti m thru (-.4.iil<.ti(:f*n, wliilr 
M' <.k)«-nhui/', U/n: ;iti o.-'-, hi:.ul. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 343 

Electoral Grace looked rather vexed, and began to uphold the 
men of Cologne. Upon which his Highness cut him short, 
s;iying, " Marry, brother, you know the old proverb— 

* The men of Cologne 
Ha>*e no hues of their own, 
But the men of Stettin 
Are the true ever-green.* 

For where truly could jomt fellows find the true green in 
their sandy dust-box ? Marry, cousin, one Pomerania is 
worth ten Margravates ; and I will show your Grace just now 
that my land in winter is more productive than yours even 
in autumn.'* 

His Grace here alluded to the fisheries ; for along the way, 
for twelve or fourteen miles, the fishermen had been ordered 
to set their nets by torchlight the night before, in holes dug 
through the ice, so that on the arrival of the princely party 
the nets might be drawn up, and the draught exhibited to 
their Graces. 

Now, when they entered the firesh HafF, which lay before 
them like a large mirror, six miles long and four broad, his 
Grace of Pomerania called out — 

" See here, brother, this is my first storeroom ; let us try 
what it will give us to eat.'* 

Upon which he signed to Dinnies Kleist to steer over to 
the first heap of nets, which lay like a black wood in the 
distance. These belonged to the Ziegenort fishermen, as the 
old schoolmaster, Peter Leisdcow, himself told me ; and as 
they had taken a great draught the day before, many people 
from the towns of Warp, Stepenitz, and Uckermund were 
assembled there to buy up the fish, and then retail it, as was 
their custom, throughout the country. They had made a fire 
upon a large sheet of iron laid upon the ice, while their horses 
were feeding close by upon hay, which they shook out before 
them. And having taken a merry carouse together, they all 
set to dancing upon the ice with the women to the bagpipe. 



.344 



SIDONIA 'I HK SOKCKKKSS 



HO tliut tlx; cMcarnpntcnt IcxAcd ri};ht jovial as tlicir Graces 
arrived. 

N(jW wlu n lite ^;rand train came up, the \HrMnniB roared 

out " 

** l)onn<M w<'tti»r,* look at the plöt/.-eatirr» I See the cursed 
p|/)t/-caUT« ! I)onn(?rwettcr, what |)l<it'/-caterH ! " f 

And MOW they ol>nervcdy (hiring', their nhoutin;;, that the 
water had rim^n up to their kneeH ; and when the ducal pro« 
ccflnion rimhcd up, tlie al)ynH re-echoed witli a noise like 
thumh'r, no that th(r forei^Mi prince» were alarmed, Init soon 
j»r<*w accurttonied thereU). 1'lien the jirewHure of «uch a crowd 
upon the ice cau<»(rd th(r water to »pout out of the holes to 
the heijdit of a man. So that hy thtr time they were two 
Ixjwfihotfi from the rurt», ail th(; folk, the women and chil- 
dren eHjxrciaily, were runnin;», «creamin;», in every direction, 
tryin;', to mvv themmrlveH on tiie firm ice, to the ^'/eat amuse* 
ni(rnt of th(rir (rracen, while a }K;amint cried out Uy the sleigh 
driver» — 

*• Stop, Htop ! or ye'll yo wUj the cellar ! " 

IlereujK)!! \i'm (frac(r of i'fjmerania Ixx'koned over the 
Yj'uynutn Hchoohnaiiter, arid ahked him what they liad taken, 
U) which he an;»wered 

OraciouM Prince, we have tiken l)ley ; the mis are all 
loadi'd ; we've taken wrventy «»r:liilmerH,:| and your Grace 
ou;',ht to t;ike one with you for Hupj>er." 

N(jw Iii» IlijdineHft the I'Jector winhed to itee the nets 
emptied, no they rcdted a (tpace while tlie |>eaft;mtfl Hhovellcd 

* A r/jifiriiori /j;itli. 

■f I'I'it/. «::tt<T/'. vr,i. ii rii(:kfi:iiii': f/ivi:ii hy tin: I'lrtiuzmuUim U> i\us 
\it:i fii III': W.ityj'.iv'.iic. .. Vni tli" jil'.t/. >///«//» Hxythrnphtlutlmui) 
r. ;i v»:fy yifn t;i'.l'-l'".'i fr.li, wliilr \\\*'. I'r/fj', of i'tjiiimuiiii nrr. Mrx.-kfvl 
with th<: vf.iy firir .t of kiiirl.. In ff:tiirii, Wic mm of ttn: Markn 
#:iill«fl l\tt'. I'oifM:f;ifii;in'. " K<--ith':r h*:;ifl i," fioni tli<: cju;iritjty of tiHKsr- 
p:iliir. {I'.riitl'lwrum vu/;init/i/m) wliirh (;rf;w in th'-ii iitiriirroir. lirrh 
iikmMov/:;. 

X A :M\UM'J w.u. }j u\ty.v.\ui: wfin.fi coiit.iifirrd twelve UrJiijh. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 345 



out the fishy and pitched them into the aforesaid schiimers. 
But ah! woe to the fish-thieves who had come over from 
Warp and other places ; for the water having risen up and 
become all muddy with fish-slime, they never saw the great 
holes, and tumbled in» to the great amusement of the peasants 
and pastime of their Graces. 

How their Highnesses laughed when the poor carls in the 
water tried to get hold of a net or a rope or a firm piece of 
ice, while they floundered about in the water, and the peasants 
fished them up with their long hooks, at the same time giving 
many of them a sharp prod on the shoulder, crying out — 

" Ha ! will ye steal again ? Take that for your pains, you 
robbers ! " 

Now when their Graces were tired laughing and looking 
at the fish hauled, they prepared to depart ; but the school- 
master prayed his Highness of Stettin yet again to take a 
schiimer of fish for their supper, as their Graces were going 
to stop for the night in Uckermund. 

" But what could I do with all the fish ? " quoth the Duke. 

To which the carl answered in his jargon — 

" Eh ! gracious master, give them to the plötz-eaters ; that 
will be something new for them. Never fear but they'll eat 
them all up ! " 

Hereupon his Highness the Elector grew nettled, and cried 
out — 

<<Ho! thou damned peasant, thinkest thou we have no 
bley?" 

" Well, ye've none here," replied the man cunningly. 

So their Graces laughed, and ordered a couple of bushels 
of the largest to be placed upon the safety sleigh. 

Now when they had gone a little farther and found the ice 
as smooth as glass, the henchman let loose the bear and the 
wolf-dogs after it. My stout Bruin first growls and paws the 
ice, then sets himself in earnest for the race, and, on account 
of his sharp claws, ran on straight for Uckermund without 



SIDOMA 'i llK SOKCKKKSS 



(rvrr f»li))t>in;',» whilr tin* hourulfi U-W down on all hUIvh^ or tumMcd 
on thdr hickn, liowlin;; with ra^c and <li«;i])|Hiintni"nt. 

Yet more pIcaHant wan tlur harohunt, for houndn and harci 
both tumbl(r(l down to;M'th(*r, and the harc*!» Hquc;ikcd and the 
houndH yfljHrd ; Homc; liarc« imlecd were killed, l>ut only after 
infinitr irouhlc, while other« ran away after the lM.*nr. 

Aftcrr the hunt they came to another fishery, and so on till ' 
th(ry reached Uckerniund, {KiMHin;; ftix fiMhcriefi in iucceMion^ 
whereof each drau^'Jit wan an larpe aH the firHt, no that hit 
(Irace the Ivlector marvelled much at the alnindancCf and 
fieeinj', the netn full of /.'innatn at the last halting-place, cried 
out — 

Marry, hrother, your ntorerooni \h well furnished. I 
niij'ht ^M'ow dainty here myHelf. T^et uh t;ike a l)UNhe] of these 
alon); with uh for HupiH'r, for '/;mnat id the finh for mc ! 

Thin )»reatly rejoiced hin (irace of Sttrttin, who ordered 
the fiHh to Im' laid on the Mumpter nleigh, and in p()od time 
t.h(*y reached tiie ducal houHe at Uckermund, Dinnie« Kleist 
Ktill kecpin;', forenioHt, and wavin;', \i\h two i)annerH over his 
head, while Harthold Barnim and the other fikaters hung 
weary and tired ujjon the hack» of tiie ulei^hfi. 



CHAPTICK XXI. 

//ow Stdonia mrrls thr'tr Gracet upon ihr kr — //m, honv DinnM 
Klr'ul hrhniils htntMrlf^ and my }^rnmus lord of IVolgast 
prr'uhrs mhrnddy, 

Thh next morning «irly the whole train «et off from Ucker- 
niund in the higheKt Hj>irilH, paBHing net after net, till the 
Duke of Mecklenburg, aH well aH the IClector, lifted their 
handn in aHtoninhment. l''rom the HafT tlu'y entered the 
IVne, and from that the AchterwanHer.* I lere a great crowd 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



347 



of people stood upon the ice, for the towo of Quilitz lay quite 
near ; besides, more fish had been taken here than had yet 
been seen upon the journey, so that people from Wolgast, 
Usdom, Lassahn, and all the neighbouring towns had run 
together to bid for it. But what happened ? 

Alas ! that his Grace should have desired to halt, for scarcely 
had his sleigh stopped, when a little old woman, meanly clad, 
with fisher's boots, and a net filled with bley-fish in her hand, 
stepped up to it and said — 

" My good Lord, I am Sidonia von Bork ; wherefore have 
you not replied to my demand for the prehenda of Barbara 
von Kleist in Marienfliess \ " 

*• How could he answer her ? He knew nothing at all of 
her mode of living, or where slie dwelt." 

Ilia. — " She had bid him lay the answer upon the altar of 
St. Jacob's in Stettin. Why had he not done so ? " 

" That u-as no place for such letters, only for the words of 
the Holy Spirit and the Blessed Sacrament of his Sa>-iour ; 
therefore, let her say now where she dwelt." 

Illiu — "The richest maiden in Pomerania could ill say 
where the poorest now dwelt," weeping. 

" The richest maiden had only herself to blame if she were 
now the poorest ; better had she wept before. The fntbendti 
she could never have ; let her cease to think of it ; but here 
was an alms, and she might now go her ways." 

//Aj. — (Refuses to take it, and murmurs.) "Your Grace 
will soon have bitter sorrow for this.'* 

As she so menaced and spat out three times, the thing 
angered Dinnies Kleist (who held her in abhorrence ever 
since the adventure in the Uckermund forest), and as he had 
lost none of his early strength, he hit her a blow with the 
blood-standard over the shoulder, exclaiming, " Pack off to 
the devil, thou shameless hag ! What does the witch mean by 
her spittings ? The pr^bemda of my sister Barbara shalt thou 
never have ! " 



.«2 



SIDONIA THK SOllCKRRSS 



(IrumH and trumjxifl Htruck up the last fn<'i8k dance in the 
great Kittcr Hall, whicli every one joinH in, old and youngs 
liiH Orace, Duke .loliann, went to the room of his dear 
couHin Hedwij^y the princely widow, and prayed her to tread 
the dance with him ; but »he refuses, and sits by the fire 
and weeps. 

"Let not my dear cousin fret," said the Duke, *« about 
the chatter of the fool/' 

To wiiich she replied, "Alas! wherefore not? For 
surely it betokens death to my darling', little son, I'hiHp 
Julius.'' 

" No," exclaimed the Duke quickly, " it betokens mine ! " 
and he fell flat u])on the ground. 

One can easily imagine how the gracious lady screamed, 
HO that all ran in from tiie Kni^'ht's Hall in their masks and 
niumming-dresses, to see indfred the mumming of the true 
bfxlily Satan ; and Doctor Pomius, who was at the mask 
likewise, ran in with a smell ing-lx)ttle, but all was in vain. 
His ( J race lingenrd for three days, and then having received 
the Holy Sacrament from Doctor (xlamlx;ckcn, died in the 
same chamlurr in which he was lx)rn, having lived fifty- 
seven years, five months, twelve days, and fourteen hours* 

How can I describe the lamcntitions of the princely com- 
pany — ye^l, indeed, of the whf)le town ; for every one saw 
now plainly that the anger of ()o<l rested u|)on this ancient 
and illustrious Pomeranian race, and that He had given it over 
helplessly to the power of the evil one. 

Summa. — On the 9th 1 February the princely corse was 
laid in the very sleigh which had brought it a living body, 
and, followed by a grand train of princes, nobles, and knights, 
alon;', with a strong gwird of the ducal soldatesca, was con- 
veyed back to Stettin ; and there, with all due and befitting 
ceremonies, was buried on J^dm Sunday in the vault of the 
castle church. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 353 



CHAPTER XXI 1. 

Hoiv Barnim the Tenth succeeds to the govemmenty and how 
Sidonla meets htm as she is gathering bilberries. Item^ 
of the unnatural ivitch^storm at his Grace's funeral^ and 
hoiv Duke Casimir refuses, in consequence, to succeed him. 

Now Barnim the Tenth succeeded to that very duchy 
about which he had been so wroth the day of the Diet at 
Wollin, but it brought him little good. He was, however, 
a pious Prince, and much beloved at his dower of Rügenwald, 
where he spent his time in making a little library of all the 
Lutheran hymn-books which he could collect, and these he 
carried with him in his carriage wherever he went; so that 
his subjects of Rügenwald shed many tears at losing so pious 
a ruler. 

Item, tlie moment his Grace succeeded to the government, 
he caused all the courts to be reopened, along with the 
treasury and the chancery, which his deceased Grace had 
kept closed to the last ; and for this goodness towards his 
people, the states of the kingdom promised to pay all his 
debts, which was done; and thus lawlessness and robbery 
were crushed in the land. 

But woe, alas! — Sidonia can no man crush! She wrote 
immediately to his Grace, soliciting the pr^benda, and even 
presented herself at the ducal house of Stettin ; but his Grace 
positively refused to lay eyes on her, knowing how fetal a 
meeting with her had proved to each of his brothers, who no 
sooner met her evil glance than they sickened and died. 

Therefore his Highness 4ield all old women in abhorrence. 
Indeed, such was his fear of them, that not one was allowed to 
approach the castle ; and when he rode or drove out, lacqueys 
and squires went before with great horsewhips, to chase away 
all the old women out of his Grace's path, for truly Sidonia 

VOL. I. z 



354 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



might be amongst them. I*>om this, it came to pass that as 
soon as it was rumoured in the town, " His Grace is coming," 
all the old mothers seized up their pattens, and scampered off, 
helter-skelter, to get out of reach of the horsewhips. 

But who can provide against all the arts of the devil ? for 
though it is true that Sidonia destroyed his two brothers, also 
his Grace himself, along with Philip II., by her breath and 
glance, yet she caused a great number of other unfortunate per- 
sons to perish, without using these means, as we shall hear fur- 
ther on ; whereby many imagined that her familiar Chim could 
not have been so weak a spirit as she represented him, on the 
rack, in order to save her life, but a strong and terrible demon. 
These things, however, will come in their proper place. 

Summa. — After Duke Barnim had reigned several years, 
with great blessing to his people, it happened that word came 
from Rügenwald how that his brother, Duke Casimir, was 
sick. This was the Prince whom, we may remember, Sidonia 
had whipped with her irreverent himds upon his princely podex^ 
when he was a little boy. 

Now Duke Barnim had quarrelled with the estates because 
they refused funds for the Turkish war ; however, he became 
somewhat merrier that evening with the Count Stephen of 
Naugard, when the evil tidings came to him of his beloved 
brother (yet more bitter sorrow is before him, I think). So 
the next morning the Duke set off with a train of six carriages 
to visit his sick brother, and by the third evening they reached 
the wood which lies close lieside R Ligen wald. Here there 
was a large oak, th<i stem of which had often served his Grace 
for a target, when he amused himself by practising firing. So 
he stopped the carriage, and alighted to see if the twenty or 
thirty balls he had shot into it were still there. 

But alas ! as he reached the oak, that deviPs spectre (I 
mean Sidonia) step})e(l from behind it ; she had an old pot in 
her hand filled with bilberries, and asked his Grace, would he 
not tike some to refresh himself after his journey. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 355 



His Highness, however, recoiled horror-struck, and asked 
who she was. 

She was Sidonia von Bork, and prayed his Grace yet once 
more for the prabenda in Marienfliess. 

Hereat the Duke was still more horrified, and exclaimed, 
" Curse upon thy pr^benda, but thou shalt get something else, 
I warrant thee! Thou art a vile witch, and hast in thy 
mind to destroy our whole noble race with thy detestable 
sorceries." 

Ilia, — " Alas ! no one had called her a witch before ; how 
could she bewitch them ? It was a strange story to tell of her." 

The Duke. — " How did it happen, then, that he had no 
children by his beloved Amrick ? " * 

Ilia (laughing). — " He better ask his beloved Amrick her- 
self. How could she know ? " 

But here she began to contort her face horribly, and to 
spit out, whereupon the Duke called out to his retinue — 
" Come here, and hang me this hag upon the oak-tree ; she 
is at her devil's sorceries again ! And woe I woe ! already I 
feel strange pains all through my body ! " 

Upon this, divers persons sprang forward to seize her, but 
the nimble night-bird darted behind a clump of fir-trees, and 
disappeared. Unluckily they had no bloodhounds along with 
them, otherwise I think the devil would have been easily 
seized, and hung up like an acorn on the oak-tree. But God 
did not so will it, for though they sent a pack of hounds from 
Rügenwald, the moment they arrived there, yet no trace of 
the hag could be found in the forest. 

And now mark the result : the Duke became worse hour 
by hour, and as Duke Casimir had grown much better by the 
time he arrived, and was in a fair way of recovery, his Grace 
resolved to take leave of him and return with all speed to his 
own house at Stettin ; but on the second day, while they were 

* Anna Maria, second daughter of John George, Elector of Bran- 
denburg. 



SIDONIA TITK SORCERESS 



Htill a mile from Stettin, Duke Barnim grew so much worse, 
that they had to stop at A It- Damm for the night. And 
scarcely had he laid himself down in bed when he expired 
This was on the ist of Septemlx;r 1603, when he was fifty- 
four years, six months, sixteen days, and sixteen hours olcL 

But the old, unclean night-bird would not let his blessed 
Highness go to his grave in peace (probably because he had 
called her an accursed witch). f''or the i8th of the same 
month, when all the nobles and estates were asscmbJed to 
witness the ceremonial of interment, along with several 
members of the ducal house, and other illustrious personages, 
such a storm of hail, rain, and wind, came on just at a quarter 
to three, as they had reached the middle of the service, that 
the priest dro])ped the book from his hands, and the church 
became so suddenly dark, that the sexton had to light the 
candles to enable the preacher to read his text. Never, too, 
was heard such thunder, so that many thought St. Jacob's 
Tower had falh.-n in, and the princes and nobles rushed out of 
the church to shelter themselves in the houses, while the most 
terrific lightning flashed round them at every step. 

Yet truly it must have been all witch- work, for when the 
funeral was over, the weather became as serene and beautifid 
as {)Ossible. 

And a great gloom fell upon every one in consequence, for 
that it was no natural storm, a child could have seen. Indeed, 
Dr. Joel, who was wise in these matters, declared to his 
Highness Duke BogislafF Xfff. that without doubt it was 
a witch-stfjrm, for the doctor was present at the funeral, as 
represenuitive of the University of Grypswald. And respecting 
the clouds, he observed particularly that they were formed like 
dogs' t;iils, that is, when a dog carries his t^iil in the air so that 
it forms an arc of a circle. And this, indeed, was the truth. 

Summa. — As by the death of Duke Barnim the govern- 
ment devolved upon Duke Casimir of Rügenwald, the estates 
proceeded thither to offer him their homage, but the Prince 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 357 



hesitated, said he was sickly, and who could tell whether it 
would not go as ill with him as with his brothers ? But the 
estates, both temporal and spiritual, prayed him so earnestly 
to accept the rule, that he promised to meet them on the next 
morning by ten of the clock, in the great Rittersaal (knights' 
hall), and make them acquainted with his decision. 

The faithful states considered this a favourable answer, and 
were in waiting next morning, at the appointed hour, in the 
Rittersaal. But what happened ? Behold, as the great door 
was thrown open, in walked the Duke, not with any of the 
insignia of his princely station, but in the dress of a fisherman. 
He wore a linen jacket, a blue smock, a large hat, and great, 
high fisher's boots, reaching nearly to his waist. Iteniy on 
his back the Duke carried a fisherman's basket ; six fisher- 
men similarly dressed accompanied him, and others in a like 
garb followed. 

All present wondered much at this, and a great murmur 
arose in the hall ; but the Duke threw his basket down by his 
side, and leaned his elbow on it, while he thus went on to 
speak: "Ye see here, my good friends, what government 
I intend to hold in future with these honest fishers, who 
accompanied me up to my dear brother's funeral. I shall 
return this day to Rügen wald. The devil may rule in 
Pomerania, but I will not ; if you kill an ox there is an end 
of it, but here there is no end. Satan treats us worse than 
the poor ox. Choose a duke wheresoever you will ; but as 
for me, I think fishing and ruling the rudder is pleasanter work 
than to rule your land." 

And when the unambitious Prince had so spoken, he drew 
forth a little flask containing branntwein * (a new drink which 
some esteemed more excellent than wine, which, however, I 
leave in its old pre-eminence ; I tasted the other indeed but 
once, but it seemed to me to set my mouth on fire — such is 
not for my drinking), and drank to the fishers, crying, " What 
♦ Whisky. 



,3j8 SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



say you, children — shall wc not go and flounder again upon 
the Rügen wald strand?" Upon which they all shouted, 
"Ay! ay!" 

His Grace then drank to the states for a Hirewell, and 
leaving the hail, proceeded with his followers to the vessel, 
which he ascended, singing gaily, and sailed home directly to 
his new fishing-lodge at Neuhausen. 

Such humility, however, availed his Grace nothing in pre- 
serving him from the claws of Satan ; for scarcely a year and 
a half had elapsed when he was seized suddenly, even as hii 
brothers, and died on the loth May 1605, at the early age of 
forty-eight years, one month, twenty-one days, and seventeen 
hours. 

But to return to the states. They were dumb with grief 
and despair when his Grace left the hail. The land marshal 
stood with the staff, the court marshal with the sword, and 
the chancellor with the seals, like stone statues there, till a 
noble at the window called out — 

" Let us hasten quickly to Prince BogislafF, before he 
journeys off, too, with his five sons, and we arc left without 
any ruler. See, there are the horses just putting to hii 
carriage ! " 

U]jon this, they all ran out to the coach, and the chancel- 
lor asked, in a lamentable voice, "If his Grace were indeed 
going to leave them, like that other gracious Prince who 
owned the dukedom by right ? The states would promise 
everything he desired — they would pay all his debts-— only 
his Grace must not leave them and their poor fatherland in 
their sore need." 

Hereat his Grace laughed, and told them, " He was not 
going to his castle of I'Van/burg, only as far as Oderkrug, 
with his dear sons, to look at the great sheep-pens there, and 
drink a bowl of ewe's milk with the shepherds under the 
apple-tree. He hoj>ed to arrive there before his brother 
Casimir in his boat, and then they might discuss the caiui 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 359 



together ; indeed, when he showed him the sheep-pens, it was 
not probable that he would refuse a duchy which had a fold 
of twenty thousand sheep, for his brother Casimir was a great 
lover of sheep as well as of fish." 

Upon this, the states and privy council declared that 
they would follow him to Oderkrug to learn the result, but 
meanwhile begged of his Grace not to delay setting off, 
lest Duke Casimir might have left Oderkrug before he 
reached it, 

CHAPTER XXIIL 

Duke Boglslaff XI IL accepts the government of the duchy ^ and 
gives Sidonia at last the long^desired prabenda — Iteniy of 
her arrival at the convent of Marienfliess, 

Now my gracious Lord Bogislaff had scarcely alighted at 
Oderkrug from his carriage, and drunk a bowl of milk under 
the apple-tree, when he spied the yellow sails of his brother's 
boat above the high reeds ; upon which he ran down to the 
shore, and called out himself — 

" Will you not land, brother, and drink a bowl of ewe's 
milk with us, or take a glance at the great sheep-pen ? It is 
a rare wonder, and my lord brother was always a great lover 
of sheep ! " 

But Prince Casimir went on, and never slackened sail. 
Whereupon his Highness called out again, " The states and 
privy councillors are coming, brother, and want to have a few 
words with you." 

Hereat Prince Casimir laughed in the boat, and returaed 
for answer — "He knew well enough what they wanted; 
but no — he had no desire to be bewitched to death. Just give 
him the lands of Lauenburg and Butow as an addition to his 
dower, and then his dear BogislafF might take all Pomerania 
to himself if he pleased." 



SI DON I A 'IIIK SOKCKKKSS 



AftxT wliicli, <loniri;', liat for an afidio^ Ik; «tecrod bnfdy 
tlirou;'Ji ÜMf l^npptnnunfirr, 

VVhr'ii youri;», I'liricc I'lari/ hfranl ihi«, he kughed loud* 
and baid, <*'JVuly oui under \w t)i<r wi^'Vi — he will not be 
Ix'wilclK'd Ui death, an h'r «:iy« — hut wli;it will my Icprd 
f;iih('j do now, for wm^ h^nr conic th<: (»uu;« alrestdy in their 
carriaj'i'H over tlic Jiill ! " 

Duke i>o;Mi)laf{' anriwr'-d, Wliat cIkc reniain« for nic to 
<lo but to at:<;«-j;t ih** j'ovn nfn<-iit ? " 

lllr, «« Yri), and Iii- MiiK.k d'-ad by wiuihcraft, like my 
ilir*-'* unf;K'« ! Ah, my j'i;i';iou'j lord fath'rr, iK'forc ever 
you ■Mx.i'\,\. tltf- Hilf of the duf.hy, let th<; witch Ik; beizcrd and 
buMM'd. IhKtor .h><-l hath told inc much al/out thcKC witches; 
:ind \ii'\\i'Si- nif, th< r'- i<i no wi;>f'r man in all Pomf*rania than 
tili« mnyutrr. Ii<* can do hr^mi-thin;», than cat bread*'' 

Then h'- f< ll upon hif* fath'-rsi n' ck, and can-H»ed him— 
'^Ali, dfar father, do not jump at once into the govern- 
nient; burn the wiu:ii fjji>L : w cannot Kparc our dear lord 
father ! " 

And the two youn;', I'linceii (#eorj(e and Ulrich prayed 
him in like mannei ; but. youn;', Philip SecunduH f>]iake — "I 
think, brotljer«, it v/ere Ix ttej if tnw dear father ;javc thin long- 
tilked-of prahrnila U\ the witch at once; then, whether nhc 
U'witcliew t)\ not, we an- f,afe at all eventu." 

H« ieuj)on hi'» I Ii;'hnei,:j ;fii»jwefi'f| My I'hilip in right ; 
for in truth no one can t>;ty whether your unden died by 
Sidonia'ft fiorcerie:f or by tho<>e of the evil man Baccliui. 
Theicfrire I warn you, dear children, flee from thin worst 
of all norcerern ; not ittaitin;»^ at a];]K*aranceH, a horM.* at 
a iihadow, for appeal, 'inr-<- \\\ the rJiadow of truth. \\v ad- 
moiiitihed, therefoie, by St. I'eter, and *;md uji the loins of 
yout ftpiiit: In: suhtr^ and watcii unto prayer/ Then ye 
may lau;di all witcheii to i)Corn ; for (/(xl will turn the 
deviceji of your enemy to folly," 

Meanwhile the litatf« ha vi« arrived ; and havinj; ah;',hurd 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 361 



from their coaches at the great sheep-pen, they advanced 
resj>ectfully to the Duke, who was seated under the apple- 
tree — the land marshal first, with the staff, then the court 
marshal with the sword, and lastly the chancellor with the seals. 

They had seen from the hill how Duke Casimir sailed away 
without waiting to hear them, and prayed and hoped that his 
Highness would accept the insignia which they here respect- 
fully tendered, and not abandon his poor fatherland in such dire 
need. The devil and wicked men could do much, but God 
could do more; as none knew better than his Highness. 

Herewith his Grace sighed deeply, and taking the insignia, 
laid staff and sword beside him ; then, taking up the sword 
hastily again, he held it in his hand while he thus spake : — 

" My faithful, true, and honourable states, ye know how 
that I resigned the government, out of free will, at the Diet 
at Wollin, because I thought, and still think, that nothing 
weighs heaner than this sword which I hold in my hand. 
Therefore I went to my dower at Barth, and have founded 
the beautiful little town of Franzburg to keep the Stralsund 
knaves in submission, and also to teach our nobles that there 
is some nobler work for a man to do in life than eating, 
drinking, and hunting. Item^ I have encouraged commerce, 
and especially given my protection to the woollen trade ; but 
all my labours will now fall to the ground, and the Stralsund 
knaves be overjoyed ; * however, I must obey God's will, and 
not kick against the pricks. Therefore I take the sword of 
my father, hoping that it will not prove too heavy for me, an 
old man ; f and that He who puts it into my hand (even the 
strong God) will help me to bear it. So let His holy will 
be done. Amen.** 

* The apprehension was justified by the event ; for on the departure 
of Duke Bogislaff, Franiburg fell rapidly to a mere \*illa^, to the great 
joy of the Stralsunders, who looked with much enxy on a new town 
springing up in their vicinity. 

t The Duke was then sixty. 



SJiXJMA TUK SOKCKKKSS 



Then hin HißhncHH delivered l>ack the insignia to the 
Htiitvtif wlio reverently kiHHed hin hand, and blessed God for 
havin;; ;^iven so good and pious a Prince to rei);n over them. 
Then they approached the five young lords, and kissed their 
hands likewise, wishing at the same time that many fair olive- 
branches might ycrt stand around their table. This made the 
old l)uk(; laugh heartily, and he prayed the states to remain a 
little and drink ewe's milk with them for a pleasant pastime; 
the shepherds would set out the Ik)w1s. 

Duke IMiilip alone went away into the town to examine the 
library, and all the vases, pictures, statues, and other costly works 
of art, which his deceased uncle, Duke Johann I'Vedcrick, had 
collected ; and these he delivered ov(rr to the marshal's care, 
with strict injunctions as to their preservation. 

iiut a »trangc thing hapfK'ned next day ; for as the Duke and 
his sons were sitting at breakfast, and the wine-can had just been 
l(>ck<-d up, because (rach young lord had drunk his allotted 
portion, namely, seven glasses (the Duke himself only drank 
six), a lac()uey entered with a not(; from Sidonia, in which she 
again demanded the prahrnda^ and ho}K.'d that his Highneü 
would Ix; niore merciful that his (hrad brothers, now that he 
had succeeded to the duchy. J^et him therefore send an 
order for her admission to the cloister of Marienflicss. The 
answer was to l>e laid upon St. Mary's alüir. 

Here young Lord I<*rancis grew quite pale, and dropped the 
fork from his hands, then spake — " Now truly wc see this hag 
lefirns of the devil, for how else couhl she have known that our 
gracious fathcT had accepted the government, unless Satan had 
visited her in her d(rn ? i^ut let his dearest father be carefiiL 
In hin opinion, the Duke should promine her the prshenda i 
but an soon aii the accurscrd hag show(rd hers<rlf at the cloister 
(for the devil now kept her concealed), let her be seized and 
burned publicly, for a tcrrrible warning and example." 

This advice did not j>lease the ohl Duke. " I'Vanz," he 
fiaid, thou art a fool, and ( jod forbid that ever thou shouldst 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 363 



reign in the land ; for know that the word of a Prince is sacred. 
Yes, Sidonia shall have the pntbenda ; but I will not entrap 
my enemy through deceit to death, but will try to win her over 
by gentleness. The chancellor shall answer her instantly, and 
write another letter to the abbess of Petersdorf ; and Sidonia's 
shall be laid upon the altar of St. Mary's this night, as she 
requested, by one of my lacqueys.'* 

Then Duke Philip kissed his pious father's hand, and the 
tears fell from the good youth's eyes as he exclaimed — 

" Alas, if she should murder you too ! " 

And here are the two letters, according to the copies which 
are yet to be seen in the princely chancery. Suh* Ä//. Maritn^ 
ßuss Ky No. 683. 

** We, Bogislaff, by the grace of God, Duke of Stettin, Pomk- 

RANIA, CASSUBEN, AND WENDEN ; PRINCE OF RÜGEN ; COUNT 

OF Gutzkow, of the Lands of Lauenburg and Butow ; 
Lord, &c, 

** In consequence of your repeated entreaties for a prtrb^HJa in the 
cloister of Marienfliess, We, of our great goodness, hereby grant the sanie 
unto you ; hoping that, in future, you will lead an humble, quiet life, as 
beseems a cloistered maiden, and, in especial, that you will alvi-ays show 
>x)urself an obedient and faithful servant of our princely house. So A^-e 
commit you to God's keeping ! 

*' Signatum, Old Stettin, the aoth October 1603. 

** Bogislaff." 

The other letter, to the abbess of Petersdorf, was sent by a 
s^ilmon lad to the convent, as we shall hear further on, and 
ran thus : — 

"Wk, Bogislaff, &a 
"Worthy Abbess, trusty and well-beloved Friend! 
'* Hereby x^-e send to you a noble damsel, named Sidonia \-on Bork, 
and desire a cell for her in your cloisters, e\*en as the other nuns. We 
trust that misery may ha\"e softened her heart to\\*ards God ; but if she 
do not demean herself with Christian sobriety, you have our commands 
to send her, along with the fish peasants and others, to our court for 
judgment. 

*' God keep you ; pray for us I 
*' Signatum, &c 

** Bogislaff." 



SIDONIA 'I HK SOKCKKKSS 



The letter to Si(h)ni;i wan, in truth, l;i'ul that Huma night ufion 
the alt'ir of St. Mary'», hy a la(:(|ij<'y, wlio waH further desired 
to hide liinifK'lf in the church, :itu\ hcc what iMrcamc of it. Now* 
the fellow had a liorribh- drrad ^)^' ntiyiri^ alone in the church 
by ni;;ht, no he took the cook, JereniiaH J^ild, alon;; with him ; 
ami afUT they had laid the letter down upon tlic altar, they 
cr(*pt both of tlicni into a lii)>h )n*w clrji»e by, lMrIon;>ing to the 
Aulick Couniiellor, Dieterick »Stempel. 

Now mark wliat hapjMrned. They had Ixren there about 
an hour, and the moon w.ih ]K)urin;; <lown an clear iin d;iylight 
fiom ÜU- hijdi altir window ; wlien, all at once, the letter 
upon the altJir Ix-j'an to move alnMit of iüielf, UH if it were 
:div(', ilx-n it hopped down upon the floor, from that danced 
down the altar Htepa, and m> ()n all aK)n;', the nave, thou)(h no 
human beiuji laid handft on it the while, and not a breath or 
fjtii wan he;ird in the church.* 

Our two carl« nearly died of the fri;dit, and Holcrmnly 
attef»ted by oath U) h'lH I lijdineHn the truth of tlurir relation* 
'J'hereby yoiin;', Lord I' ran/ wa» more «tren^^thened in hu 
belief fronceinin;', Sidonia'x witchcraft, and ha<l many argu* 
nientn with hiit falb« r in (:onfje<ju(-n<:e. 

*'IIin lotd father nn;'ht eaoily know that a letter ccjuld 
not move of itiM'lf without deviT» ma^dc. Now, thi« letter 
had moved of it «elf ; rryo^^^ «'Vc, 

Whereupon bin lli;djneu« anuwenrd — 

" When had he ever douijferi th»' power of Sat;in ? Ah, 
never ; but. in thi'> inMance who could tell what the cirl» in 
their fi i;'ht had or not fteen ? I' or, jHrrhajm, Sidonia, 
when hhe obfiervrd them hid in;', in the pew, had Htuck a fish* 
liook intii the letter, and m drawn it over to hernclf. He 
rememlxrred in bin youth a trick that had been played on the 
jjatron — for thin patron alwayH went U) «leeji during the 
nermon. So the »exton let down a fith-liook through the 

• IWmiHliiiijr 'Jinihif v, i<-l;iU 'I in llnr Srhrrin of frevont, wli'rn; ;i 
of w:ilci tiif/vcd of It*, own uf.f.oifl to :uiothf:i |il:u%. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 365 



ceiling of the church, which, catching hold of the patron's wig, 
drew it up in the sight of the whole congregation, who after- 
wards swore that they had seen the said wig of their patron 
carried up to the roof of the church by witchcraft, and dis- 
appear through a hole in the ceiling, as if it had been a bird. 
Some time after, however, the sexton confessed his knavery, 
and the patron's flying wig had been a standing joke in the 
country ever since." 

But the young lord still shook his head — 
" Ah, they would yet see who was right. He was still of 
the same opinion." 

But I shall leave these arguments at once, for the result 
will ftilly show which party was in the right. 

Summa: — Sidonia, next day, drove in her one-horse cart 
again to the convent gate at Marienfliess, accompanied by 
another old hag as her servant. Now the peasants had just 
arrived with the salmon, which the Duke despatched every 
fortnight as a present to the convent, and the letter of his 
Grace had arrived also. So, many of the nuns were assembled 
on the great steps looking at the fish, and waiting for the 
abbess to divide it amongst them, as was her custom. Others 
were gathered round the abbess, weeping as she told them of 
the Duke's letter, and the good mother herself nearly fainted 
when she read it. 

So Sidonia drove straight into the court, as the gates were 
lying open, and shouted — 

What the devil ! Is this a nuns' cloister, where all the 
gates lie open, and the carls come in and out as if it were 
a dove-cot ? Shame on ye, for light wantons ! Wait ; 
Sidonia will bring you into order. Ha ! ye turned me out ; 
but now ye must have me, whether ye will or no ! " 

At such blasphemies the nuns were struck dumb. How- 
ever, the abbess seemed as though she heard them not, but 
advancing, bid Sidonia welcome, and said — 

It was not possible to receive her into the cloister, until 



366 



SIDONIA THK SOKCKRKSS 



she had comm^ind from Win Grace ho to do, which command 
«hc now held in her hand." 

ThiH Hoftirncd Sidonia Homewhat, and nhv anked • 

" What are the nun« doin^» tliere with the fwh ? 

" Dividing the «almon," w;i» the answer. 

Whcreu]>on she jumj)cd out of the cart, and declared that 
Hhe must get her portion also, for salmon was a right good 
thing for supper. 

Whereuj>on th<r sub-prioress, Dorothea von Stettin, cut 
her off a fine large head-piece, which Sidonia, however, pushed 
away scornfully, crying — 

" l«'ie ! what did she mean by that ? ^J'he devil might eat 
the head-piece, but give her the tail. She had never in her 
life eaUrn anything i)ut the tail-piece ; the tail was fatter/' 

So the abbess signed to them to give her the tiil-end ; after 
which, she asked tf) s(;e lier cell, and, on Ix'ing shown it, cried 
out again — 

\*U; on them ! was that a cell for a la^ly of her degree? 
Why, it was a pig-sty. I ^et the Mh^hh put her young litter 
of nuns there ; they would Ik; iKlter in it than running up and 
down the convent court witli the fish-carls. She must and 
will have the refect/)ry.** 

And when the ai)lH!Ss answered — 

" That was the prayer- room, where the sisters met night 
and morning for vespers and matins,'' she heeded not, but 

said — 

**lA't them pray in tlie chajiel — the c}ia|«l is large 
enough.*' 

And so saying, she commanded h'.-r maid, who wai no 
other than Wolde All>rec}its, though not a soul in the con- 
vent knew her, U) carry all her lug;»age straight into the 
refectory. 

What could the j)Oor abliess do ? She had to sulmit, and 
not only give her up the refectory, Init, finding that she had 
no l>ed, order one in for li(;r. /icm, seeing tliat Sidonia waa 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 367 



in rags, she desired black serge for a robe to be brought, and 
a white veil, such as the sisterhood wore, and bid the nuns 
stitch them up for her, thinking thus to win her over by kind- 
nes& Also she desired tables, stools, &c., to be arranged in 
the refectory, since she so ardently desired to possess this 
room. But what fruit all this kindness brought forth we shall 
see in Uber tertius. 



END OF SECOND BOOK. 



BOOK III. 

FROM THE RECEPTION OF SIDONIA INTO THE 
CONVENT AT MARIENFLIESS UP TILL HER 
EXECUTION, AUGUST 19TH, 162a 



VOL, I. 



CHAPTER I. 



Ho^ the sub^prioressy Dorothea Stettin^ visits Sii^nia and extols 
her virtue — of Sidonia^s quarrel 'with the dairy- 
'woman^ and how she beats the sheriff himself^ Eggert 
SparFingi with a broom-stick. 

Most Eminent and Illustrious Prince ! — ^Your Serene High- 
ness will surely pardon me if I pass over, in Ä^ro tertioy many 
of the quarrels, bickerings, strifes, and evil deeds, with which 
Sidonia disturbed the peace of the convent, and brought many 
a goodly person therein to a cruel end ; first, because these 
things are already much known and talked of ; and secondly, 
because such dire and Satanic wickedness must not be so 
much as named to gentle ears by me. 

I shall therefore only set down a few of the principal 
events of her convent life, by which your Grace and others 
may easily conjecture much of what still remains unsaid ; for 
truly wickedness advanced and strengthened in her day by 
day, as decay in a rotting tree. 

The morning after her arrival in the convent, while it 
was yet quite early, and Wolde Albrechts, her lame maid, 
was sweeping out the refectory, the sub-prioress, Dorothea 
Stettin, came to pay her a visit. She had a piece of salmon, 
and a fine haddock's liver, on a plate, to present to the lady, 
and was full of joy and gratitude that so pious and chaste a 
maiden should have entered this convent* " Ah, yes ! it was 
indeed terrible to see how the convent gates lay open, and the 
men-folk walked in and out, as the lady herself had seen 
yesterday. And would sister Sidonia believe it, sometimes 

37« 



.37» 



SIDONIA IHK SORCKRKSS 



the carl» came in barc-l(rg};c(l ? Not alonc old Matthias 
WinU.-rf'fld, the convent porter, but others — yea, even in 
their shirt-HleeveH Honietime»— oh, it was shocking even to 
think of! She had tilked about it long enough, but no one 
heeded her, though truly bhe was sub-prioress, and ought 
to have authority. However, if sister Sidonia would make 
common caufte with her from this time forth, modesty and 
sobriety niij'ht yet be brouj^ht back to their blessed 
cloister." 

Sidonia desired nothing Ixrtter tlian to make common cause 
with the good, simple Dorothea — but for her own purposes, 
'i'herefore she answered, "Ay, truly; this matter of the 
o]K;n gates was a grievous sin and shame. What else were 
thcr'ie giddy wantons thinking of but lovers and matrimony? 
She really blushed to see them yesterday." 

J IIa. — IVue, true ; that was just it. All about love and 
marriage was the talk for ever amongst them. It made her 
heart die within her to think what the young maidens were 
nowadays." 

Hac. — " Had she any insunces to bring forward ; what 
had they done ? " 

JUa. — Alas ! inst<inces enough. Why, not long since, a 
nun h<td married with a clerk, and this last chaplain, David 
OroHskopf, had taken another nun to wife himself." 

Hac* — " (-)h, she was refidy to faint with horror." 

Jlla (sobbing, weeping, and falling u]X}n Sidonia's neck). — 

Ood l)e praised that she had found one righteous soul in 
this Scxlom and (romorrah. Now she would swear friend- 
ship to her for life and death ! And had she a little drop of 
wintr, just to pour on th(r haddock's liver ? it tasted so much 
U-tter Ht(;wed in wine ! but she would go for some of her 
own. The liver must just get one turn on the fire, and then 
the butter and ftpices have to Ik.* a<lde<i. She would teach her 
how to do it if she did not know, only let the old maid make 
up tiie fire." 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 373 



Hitc. — "What was she talking about? Cooking was 
child's play to her; she had other things to cook than 
haddocks' livers." 

Ilia (weeping). — " Ah ! let not her chaste sister be angry ; 
she had meant it all in kindness." 

Hec. — " No doubt — but why did she call the convent a 
Sodom and Gomorrah ? Did the nuns ever admit a lover 
into their cells ? " 

Ilia (screaming with horror). — "No, no, fie! how could 
the chaste sister bring her lips to utter such words ? " 

H£c. — "What did she mean, then, by the Sodom and 
Gomorrah \ " 

Ilia. — " Alas ! the whole world was a Sodom and Go- 
morrah, why, then, not the convent, since it lay in the world ? 
For though we do not sin in words or works, yet we may 
sin in thought ; and this was evidently the case with some 
of these young things, for if the talk in their hearing was of 
marriage, they laughed and tittered, so that it was a scandal 
and abomination ! " 

Äff. — " But had she anything else to tell her — what had 
she come for ? " 

lüa. — " Ah ! she had forgotten. The abbess sent to say, 
that she must begin to knit the gloves directly for the canons 
of Camyn- Here was the thread.** 

H£c. — ** Thousand devils ! what did she mean ? " 

lüa (crossing herself). — ** Ah ! the pious sister might let 
the devils alone, though (God be good to us) the world was 
indeed full of them ! " 

H£c. — "What did she mean, then, by this knitting — to 
talk to her so— the lady of castles and lands ? ** 

IÜ€u — Why, the matter was thus. The reverend canons 
of Camyn, who were twelve in number, purchased their beer 
always from the convent — ^for such had been the usage from 
the old Catholic times — and sent a waggon regularly every 
half-year to fetch it home. In return for this goodness, the 



.374 



SIDONIA 'IHK SOHCKUKSS 



niinfi knit a jiair of'tlinraH ;'Jovch for each canon in Hprin^;, and 
a pair of woollen omrH in winter." 

Ilitc, — "Tlien the devil may knit thcni if he chooiiesy but 
Hhe never will. What ! a lady of her rank to knit gloves for 
the»e old fat pauncheH ! No, no ; the ablTeHH muHt comr to 
li(rr ! Send a nKm'i;»<r to l)id her come." 

And truly, in a little time, the ahlieiiH, Ma^^dalena von 
P(rt<*rHdorf, <::ini(r as hIkt was hid ; for she had reKolved to 
try and conquer Sidonia'» pride and insolence by floftnefui and 
humility. 

But what a Htorm of wordn fell upon the worthy matron ! 

" WaH thiH treatment, forHOoth, for a noble lady ? To be 
told to knit |'Iov<*h for a w-t of la/y canon«. Marry, ghc 
had Urtter .send the men at f)nce to her rf)om, to have them 
tried on. No wonder that levity and wantonnesH fihould^ 
n i;^n tlirouj»hout the convent ! " 

I ler<* tli<.* ;;or)d motlK-r interposed — 
But could not ftiHter Sidonia moderate her hm;;ii;ij*c a 
little ? Such violence* ill lu'canKr a spiritual maiden. If 
would not hold l)y tin; old Ufta^^ir, let her wiy 8o quietly, 
and then nhe henielf, the al>br-»H, would undertake to knit the 
jdov<-H, «ince the work so displeaHcd her." 

Then nh(r turned tc) leave the room, but, on ojMrning the 
dorir, tumbled ri}>ht a;'ainHt Hinter Anna AjKrnbor);, who wai 
»tuck up doKe to it, with her ear a^^ainnt the crevice, liitcn- 
in;', to what wan paHnin^', innide. Anna Ncreamed at first, for 
the f'/)od niother'H Iwad had ;;iven her a Htf)ut blow, but 
rccoveriri)', (piickly, a.'i the two ]}riore(i»eK ]);iHHed out, curtttcd 
to Si<lonia — 

"ll^r name waH Anna Apenbor^». Her father, I'iliai, 
dwelt in Nadren.ee, ne.ir Old Stettin, and h(T j;reat«great- 
jM'andf;itli(*r, CaH|);ir, had iH-r-n with Bo^'iNlaff X. in the Holy 
Land. She had conje to pay her re8|K:ct« to the new sifter, 
for .she wan (:or)kin;', in the kitchen yesterday when the lady 
arriv<'d, and never ^»ot a «i-^ht of her, but she heard that 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 375 



this dear new sister was a great lady, with castles and 
lands. Her father's cabin was only a poor thing thatched 
with straw," &c. 

All this pleased the proud Sidonia mightily, so she 
beckoned her into the room, where the aforesaid Anna im- 
mediately began to stare about her, and devour everything 
with her eyes; but seeing such scanty furniture, remarked 
inquiringly — 

" The dear sister's goods are, of course, on the road ? " 

This spoiled all Sidonia's good-humour in a moment, and 
she snappishly asked — 

" What brought her there ? " 

Hereupon the other excused herself— 

"The maid had told her that the dear sister was going 
to eat her salmon for her lunch, with bread and butter, but 
it was much better with kale, and if she had none, her maid 
might come down now and cut some in the garden. This 
was what she had to say. She heard, indeed, that the sub- 
prioress and Agnes Kleist ate their salmon stewed in butter, 
but that was too rich ; for one should be very particular about 
salmon, it was so apt to disagree. However, if sister Sidonia 
would just mind her, she would teach her all the different 
ways of dressing it, and no one was ever the worse for eating 
salmon, if they followed her plan." 

But before Sidonia had time to answer, the chatterbox 
had run to the door and lifted the latch— 

" There was a strange woman in the courtyard, with 
something under her apron. She must go and see what it 
was, but would be back again instantly with the news." 

In a short time she returned, bringing along with her 
Sheriff Sparling's dairy- woman, who carried a large bundle of 
flax under her apron. This she set down before Sidonia — 

" And his worship bid her say that she must spin all this 
for him without delay, for he wanted a new set of shirts, and 
the thread must be with the weaver by Christmas." 



SIDONIA TIIK SOKCKRKSS 



When Sidonia heard thin, nhc fell into a right rage in 
earnest — 

" May the devil wrin;», \m cars, the ])ca8ant carl ! To send 
such a mcsBage to a hidy of her dcf;rec ! " 

I'hen Hhe pitched the flax out of tlie door, and wanted 
U) tthove the dairy-woman out afurr it, but she Htopjicd, and 
wiid — 

Tlih worship ;'ave all the nuns a buflhel of need for their 
trouble, and sowed it for tlurm ; ho she had bdter do as the 
others <lid." 

Sidonia, however, was not to Ix* apj)easr'd — 

" May the devil tike her and her flax, if she did not trot 
out of that inst'intly." 

So she pushed the poor woman out, and then panting and 
blowini» with ra;;e, asked Anna Apcnbor^, to tell her what 
this boor of a sheriff was like ? 

///a. — " He was a stran;»/* man. Ate fish every day, and 
always cooked the one way, namely, in i>eer. How this was 
possible she could not understand. To-day she heard he was 
to have pike for his dinner.*' 

I/ac. — " Was she askin;» the fool what he ate ? What did 
she care about his dinners ? But what sort of man was he, 
and did all the nuns, in truth, spin for him ? " 

Jlla, — "Ay, truly, excqit Barbara Schetzkow; she was 
dead now. But once when h(r went storming to her cell, 
sh(; just turned him out, and so slie had ])eacc ever after, 
i'or he roared like a bear, but, in truth, was a cowardly 
rabbit, this same sheriff. And she heard, that one time, when 
he Wi'is challenged by a noble, he shrank away, and never 
stood up to his cjuarrel." 

But just then in walked the sheriff himself, with a horse- 
whip in his hand. He was a thick-s(rt, {'/ey-he?ided fellow, 
and roared at Sidonia — 

" What I thou old, lean hag — m thou wilt sj)in no flax ? 
May the devil take thee, but thou shalt obey my commands ! 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 377 



While he thus scolded, Sidonia quietly caught hold of the 
broom, and grasping it with both hands, gave such a blow 
with the handle on the grey pate of the sheriff, that he 
tumbled against the door, while she screamed out — 

" Ha ! thou peasant boor, take that for calling me a hag — 
the lady of castle and lands ! " 

Then she struck him again and again, till the sheriff at 
last got the door open and bolted out, running down the stairs 
as hard as he could, and into the courtyard, where, when he 
was safely landed, he shook the horsewhip up at Sidonia's 
windows, crying out — 

" I will make you pay dear for this. Anna Apenborg was 
witness of the assault. I will swear information this very day 
before his Highness, how the hag assaulted me, the sheriff, 
and superintendent of the convent, in the performance of my 
duty, and pray him to deliver an honourable cloister from 
the presence of such a vagabond." 

Then he went to the abbess, and begged her and the nuns 
to sustain him in his accusation — 

" Such wickedness and arrogance had never yet been seen 
under the sun. Let the good abbess only feel his head ; 
there was a lump as big as an egg on it. Truly, he had had 
a mind to horsewhip her black and blue; but that would 
have been illegal ; so he thanked God that he had restrained 
himself." 

Then he made the abbess feel his head again ; also Anna 
Apenborg, who happened to come in that moment. 

But the worthy mother knew not what to do. She told 
the sheriff of Sidonia' s behaviour as she drove into the con- 
vent ; also how she had possessed herself of the refectory by 
force, refused to knit or spin, and had sent for her, the abbess, 
bidding her come to her, as if she were no better than a 
serving-wench. 

At last the sheriff desired all the nuns to be sent for, and 
in their presence drew up a petition to his Highness, praying 



.378 



SIDONIA rWK SOKCKKKSS 



that the honourable convent mi^'ht Im* delivered From the 
preBcnccr of thin dragon, for that no peace could Ix; cx])ectcd 
within the wallH until this vagabond and evil-mindeii old hag 
were turned out on the road again, or wherever else his 
HighneHs pleased. livery one present signed this, with the 
exception of Anna Apenlwrg and the sul>-priores8, Dorothea 
iSt<!ttin. And many think that in consideration of this gentle- 
ness, Sidonia afterwards spared their lives, and did not bring 
them to a premature grave, like as she did the worthy abbeu 
and others. 

l**or the next time that she caught Anna at her old habit 
of list<'ning, Sidonia said, while boxing her — 

You should get something worse than a box on thccary only 
for your refusal to sign that lying jKrtition to his Highness." 

Summa, — After a few days, an answer {urivcd from his 
Orace the Duke of Stettin, and the al)lx:ss, with the sheriff, 
proceechrd with it to Sidonia's apartment. 

'I'hcy found her brewing beer, an art in which she excelled ; 
and the hrtler which they h:md<?d to her ran thus, according 
to the copy rec^rivcd likcrwise by the convent :— 

WK, I^>r;iSLAr F, MY TlfK dRACK OF OOl), DUKK OF 

STK'rriN, ike. 

" FI;iviru; h«;u-cl from otir :,li<;riff tin; piotiu MJ.lorlKXK! of Mnrien- 
fliüss, of tliy iin:.<'f;rri1y tM:fi:ivionr, in nin . \uf', tiprr):ir.H :infl tiimiilts in 
lli<! convMUt ; fiirtlirr, <if thy Ji;ivjn.<; •.uurk our worthy shrsrifl* on the 
\u'/.i<\ with ;i hrofMii-'.tick W<t hitrrhy (\i:r]:in:, tlfsirr, and comniAnd, 
tli.'it, Mlil<;-,-i tlioil y,'ivi'..i rliK* tAMuWrinr. to t\ir. iintlioritirs, l;iy nnfl 
.'.piritiKil, Moiii;; iWv. wrll, witli hnniiiity :in(l rniM'kncsH, even sis the 
()t\\r.r .si-:t(!r.';, tli<; s:lk1 {intlioriti'v; «;h:ill have, full powi:r to turn thoe 
(nit of ihr r.onvr.ni, l»y nnMrr; of llirir h.-iilifls or ';lh«rwiM!, sis they 
pIriiMr, »MV»"»: ll"-'* ''^"■k si/^iin l^; tli.'il i;<'nlition fniiii which th^m 
w:i*.t HT-.ciird. Fiirtlirr, thou ;irl li<Tif!wilh to rl<!livi!r up the refec- 
tr;ry to the ;i\AM::r., of wliich Wi! hi;:ir thou hsi.t .'.h.'unefiilly |KaseftBOl 
thy:.(;ll. 

()](\ SHittin, lotli Novemljer, 1603. 

" IVif;rsLAi'F." 



Sidonia scarcely looked at the letter, but thrust it under the 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 379 



pot on the fire, where it soon blazed away to help the brewing, 
and exclaimed — 

" They had forged it between them ; the Prince never wrote 
a line of it. Nor would he have sent it to her by the hands 
of her enemies. Let it bum there. Little trouble would she 
take to read their villainy. But never fear, they should have 
something in return for their pains.** 

Hereupon she blew on them both, and they had scarcely 
reached the court, after leaving her apartment, when both were 
seized with excruciating pains in their limbs ; both the sheriff 
and the abbess were affected in precisely the same way — a 
violent pain first in the little finger, then on through the hand, 
up the arm, finally, throughout the whole frame, as if the mem- 
bers were tearing asunder, till they both screamed aloud for very 
agony. Doctor Schwalenberg is sent for from Stargard, but 
his salve does no good ; they grow worse rather, and their cries 
are dreadful to listen to, for the pain has become intolerable. 

So my brave sheriff turns from a roaring ox into a poor 
cowardly hare, and sends off the dairy- woman with a fine haunch 
of venison and a sweetbread to Sidonia : His worship's 
compliments to the illustrious lady with these, and begged to 
know if she could send him anything good for the rheumatism, 
which had attacked him quite suddenly. The Stargard doctor 
was not worth the air he breathed, and his salve had only made 
him worse in place of better. He would send the illustrious 
lady also some pounds of wax-lights; she might like them 
through the winter, but they were not made yet." 

When Sidonia heard this she laughed loudly, danced about, 
and repeated the verse which was then heard for the first time 
from her lips ; but afterwards she made use of it, when about 
any evil deed : — 

•* Also kleien und also kratzen, 
Meine Hunde und meine Katren." * 

* ** So claw and so scratch, 
My dogs and my cats." 



38o 



SIDONIA IHK S()KC:KKKSS 



The (lairy-woiiiiin nUmi by in Hilc?nt wonder, firHt lr>oking at 
Sidonia, then at Wolde, who be;'an to dance HkcwiMry and 
chanted : — 

** Aim) MrMii Mtu\ ii\:,f) krutznu, 
Unwc IIutKln tirwl iinfiri? K;itzf?n," * 

At lant Sidonia armwered, 'J'hiH time I will help him ; but 
if he ever briri;; the roaring', ox out of the Htall again, assuredly 
he will nrpent iu" 

Hereon th(r dairy-mother turned U) dqiart, but suddenly 
hUhhI (]uit(; Ktill, Htiring at Anne Wolde; at length said, 
" Did I not M'.K thee yearH aj»o Hjiinnin;» flax in my mother'i 
cellar, when the folk wanted to bring thee U) an ill end ?" 

I*ut the haj', denied it all — "The devil may have been in 
her nu)thcr*« c^'llar, l)ut »he had never Been Marienfliess in her 
life before, till /die came hith(;r with tlii» ilhmtrious lady/' 

•So th(* other Heenied to believe h(rr, and went out ; and by 
the tinKr hIk; r(;;iched htrr manter'H door, his jj;iins hsid all 
vanished, no that \u: rode that name day at noon to the hunt* 

Tlir* poor ai)beitf( he^ird of all tliiH through Anna A{M.'nlN)rgf 
and thcr(Mi]>on lM't.hou;'ht herKelf of a little eml)asHy likewise. 

So she bid Anna uk(; all HoriH of gocxl ]>aHtry, and a new 
kettK*, and ;',re(rt the I /ady Sidonia from her — " Couhl the dear 
HiHter )Mve her anything for the rheumatinm ? She heard the 
NherifF wart quite cured, and all tlur doctor^H Hidves and plasters 
were only making her worw. She Hcnt the dear sister a few 
daintie» — i/rni, a new kettle, a» lurr rjwn kdtlc had not yet 
arrivt-d. //rw, «he begg<*d her acceptance of all the furniture, 
/Jic, which nhe had lent her for hcrr apartment. 

At thifi furcond nieKK;ige, the horrible witch laughed and 
danc<;d an before, repeating the same couplet; and the old 
hag, Wolde, danced Ixrhind her like her Hhadow. 

Now Anna AjMrnlK)rg'« curioHity was excited in the highest 

* "St} f:law unr! •.timiuU, 
Our dofj-; :uifl our cit'i." 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 381 



degree at all this, and her feet began to beat up and down on 
the floor as if she were dying to dance likewise ; at last she 
exclaimed, " Ah, dear lady ! what is the meaning of that ? 
Could you not teach it to me, if it cures the rheumatism ? that 
is, if there be no devil's work in it (from which God keep 
us). I have twelve pounds of wool lying by me ; will you 
take it, dear lady, for teaching me the secret ? " 

But Sidonia answered, " Keep your wool, good Anna, and 
I will keep my secret, seeing that it is impossible for me to 
teach it to you ; for know, that a woman can only learn it of 
a man, and a man of a woman ; and this we call the doctrine 
of sympathies. However, go your ways now, and tell the 
abbess that, if she does my will, I will visit her and see 
what I can do to help her ; but, remember, my will she 
must do." 

Hereupon sister Anna was all eagerness to know what 
her will was, but Sidonia bade her hold her tongue, and then 
locked up the viands in the press, while Wolde went into 
the kitchen with the kettle, where Anna Apenborg followed 
her slowly, to try and pick something out of the old hag, but 
without any success, as one may easily imagine. 



CHAPTER n. 

How Sidonia visits the abbess^ Magdalena von Petersdotfy and 
explains her wishes^ but Is diverted to other objects by a 
sight of David Ludecky the chi^laln to the convent. 

When Sidonia went to visit the abbess, as she had promised, 
she found her lying in bed and moaning, so that it might have 
melted the heart of a stone ; but the old witch seemed quite 
surprised — What could be the matter with the dear, good 
mother? but by God's help she would try and cure her. 
Only, concerning this little matter of the refectory, it might 



.382 SIDONIA 1'IfK SOKCKKKSS 



AH well Ix; Hdthrci firMt, for Ann.i Ai>cnlK)rg told her the 
room wait to Ix: taken from her ; hut wouhl not the good 
mother ])c;rnnt her to keep it ? " 

And when the tortured matron anflwcred, ^*Oh yet; 
keep it, keep it/' Sidonia went on — 

''Tiiere wa» juHt another little favour she expected for 
curing', her dear mother (for, hy CUh\*h help, »he expected to 
curcf her). Thifi waH, to make her ituh- priores« in place of 
i)oroth(fa Suitin ; for, in the firm place, the nituation was 
<lue to lier rank, nlie bein;; tlnr moKt illustrious lady in the 
convent, dow(;red with catttleH and landH ; secondly, txKSUise 
her illufitriou'i forefiitherH had li(rl]>(rd to found this convent; 
an<l thirdly, it waif due to her a);e, for she was the natural 
mother oi all ihviw yourij', doveH, and much more fitted to 
keep tliem in oidei and Htrict Ixrhaviour than Dorothea 
Stettin.** 

i fere the abbess answered, I low could she make her 
Nub*prioreHH whil<* the other lived ? 'J*his was not to be 
done? Truly »iKter i)oroth<-a was somewhat pnidiih and 
whininj', thift hIk* could not deny, for she had suffered maoy 
cro<(ifeH in her path ; but., withal, she was an upright^ hoocft 
creature, with the beitt and dimpleht heart in the world ; and 
»0 little mrlÜHlineim, that verily idxr would lay down her life 
for the siHterhofxl, if it were necenHary.'* 

/I/a. — " A )'/)od heart was all very well, but what could it 
do without rettpect ? and how could a ]H)or f(K>l be respected 
who fell into fits if she tmw a bride, particularly here, where 
the youn^; umu-vu thou)dit of nothin;; but marriage from 
morniii)', till nijdit.** 

J/ac. — ** hIh- wan held in ;^;reat resjHrct and honour 
by all the siHterhofxi, an she herself could testify/' 

//A/. -"Stuff! she muHt Ix? sub-prioress, and there was 
an end of it, or the alilxrHS mij'lit lie ^/oanin;> there till she 
was as htiff as a |>oIe.*' 

"Alan! Sidonia,'* anHwered the ablx-ss, "I would rather 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 383 



lie here as sdflP as a pole— or, in other words, lie here a 
corpse, for I understand thy meaning — than do aught that 
was unjust." 

lila. — "What was unjust? The old goose need not be 
turned out of her office by force, but persuaded out of it — 
that would be an easy matter, if she were so humble and 
excellent a creature." 

//-f<r. — " But then deceit must be practised, and that she 
could never bring herself to." 

— " Yet you could all practise deceit against me, and 
send off that complaint to his Highness the Prince." 

H^c. — " There was no falsehood there nor deceit, but the 
openly expressed wish of the whole convent, and of his 
worship the sheriff." 

///t/. — «* Then let the whole convent and his worship the 
sheriff make her well again; she would not trouble herself 
about the matter." 

Whereupon she rose to depart, but the suffering abbess 
stretched out her hands, and begged, for the sake of Jesus, 
that she would release her from this torture ! " Take every- 
thing — everything thou wishest, Sidonia— only leave me my 
good conscience. Thy dying hour must one day come too ; 
oh ! think on that." 

IlLu — *^ The dying hour is a long way off yet " (and she 
moved to the door). 

H^c (murmuring):— 

** Why should health ftom God estrange thee ? 
Morning cometh and may change thee ; 
Life, to^iay, its hues may borrow 
Wliere the gcave^wonn feeds to-morrow." 

Illju — « Look to yourself then. Speak ! Make me sub- 
prioress, and be cured on the instant." 

Hitc (turning herself back upon the pillow). — "No, no, 
temptress ; begone : — 



384 



SIDON'IA 'IHK SOKCKKKKS 



Ii 



'StAn:',i pillow i'tr Ihii *\yUty,, 
I:; :i (:oiiv:ii:ri(:f. void of rlntiul.' 



(jOy leave inc; my lifer Ih in ihc hand of (#o(i. ^ For if we 
live, we liv(r unto llic Lord ; and if wc die, wc die unto the 
Lord. I/ivin;;, tii<:rdor<?, or dyinj», wo arc the I^ord'n.'" 

So <fayin^>, the piouH motlxT turned her face to the walJy 
and iSidonia went out of the chamber. 

In a little while, however, «hc returned — ** Would the 
yixni mother promiwr, at leaHt, to offer no opjionition, if 
Dorothea Stettin propOHed, of her own free will, to rengo 
the office of ftul)-prioreHH ? If ffo, Icrt her reach foi th her hand; 
fihe would Hoon iind the pain/i hrave her.'' 

The poor aliheHH aniiented to tliiH, and oh, wonder ! at it 
came, ho it went ; firHt out of the little fin^),er, and then by 
de«'reeH out of the whole Ijody, »0 that the old mother wept 
for Joy, and thanked her murd(rreHH. 

.lu'it th(;M the door operurd, and David J.udeck, tlie chap- 
lain, whom th(r ahlxefm had Hent for, ent<;red in his Murpliccii 
He wa» a fine till man, of about thirty-five year«, with bright 
red lipM ;irid j'-t-lilack beard. 

J le wondered much on hearing; how the abbeii« had been 
cured by what Sidonia called Hympathiev," and smelled 
devir» work in it, but naid nothing; — for he was afraid; 
n)Kjke kindly U) the witch-ha); even, and extolled her learning 
and the noliility of \wr racrr ; declaring; that he knew well 
that the Von Hork» had htrljxrd mainly to found this cloister. 

'V\m mijditily ];leaM:d the HorcercHH, and »he ^rew quite 
friendly, axkiri^^ him at laftt, What news he had of hu 
wife and children?" And when he answered, He had 
no wife nor children," her eye» lit up aj;ain like old cinders, 
and <ihe l)'-;'an to je<»t with him about hifi ;;oin;; alxYut SO 
freely in a cloi/iter, :iH nhe obnerved he did. Hut when she 
h;iw that the prieiit look<*d yr.ivi: at the jentin^Mi, hlie changed 
her tone, and d'-murely aitked him, If he would lie ready 
afu:r iH.-rmon on iSunday to .miHl at her a4»uming the nun's 




SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



385 



dress ; for though many had giTcn up this old usage, yet 
she would hold by h, for lore of Jesu.'* This pleased the 
priest, and he promised to be prepared. Then Sidonia took 
her leave ; but scarcely had she reached her own apartment 
when she sent for Anna Apoiborg. **What sort of man 
was this chaplain ? she saw that he went about the couTent 
at his pleasure. This was Strang when he was unmarried." 

Ilht. — «* He was a right fiiendly and well-behaTed gentle- 
man. Nothing unseemly in word or deed had ever been 
heard of him." 

Hdc. — " Then he must have some private love-afiair." 

IILl, — "Some said he was paying court to Bamberg's 
sister there in Jacobshagen." 

Hdtc. — ** Ha ! very probable. But was it true ? for other- 
wise he should never go about amongst the nuns the way he 
did. It was quite abominable : an uimuurned man ; Dorothea 
Stettin was right. But how could they ascertain the faa ? " 

Uku — " That was easily done. She was going next morn- 
ing to Jacobshagen, and would make out the whole story for 
her. Indeed, she herself, too, was curious about it." 

Äf. — " All right. This must be done for the hoiK>ur of 
the cloister. For according to the rules of 1 569, the court 
chaplain was to be an o/t/ man, who should teach the sisters 
to read and write. Whereas, here was a fine carl with red 
lips and a black beard — unmarried too. Did he perchance 
ever teach any of them to read or write ? 

lUiu — " No ; for they all knew how already." 

Hitc. — " Still there was something wrong in it. No, no, 
in such matters youth has no truth; Dorothea Stettin was 
quite right. Ah, what a wonderfol creature, that excellent 
Dorothea! Such modesty and purity she had never met 
with before. Would that all young maidens were like her, 
and then this wicked world would be something better." 

lUa (sighing). — "Ah, yes; but then sister Dorothea went 
rather hi in her notions." 

VOL. u % 



SIDONIA TIIK SOKCJKKKSH 



/Afr. I low (io f In tiiriM* iii;itt.rrN oiK* could never 

fill-." 

/////. —*• Why, wlini a couplr wm* calh**! in churchy or a 
woman wan cliurchcd, Dorothea nearly fiiintnl. Tlirn, there 
waH a niche in the cli.incel ior which old Duke Harnim lud 
y\vm (hem an Adam and I'ive, which he turned and carved 
hiniHelf. Uut Dorothea wan ()iiite Nhocked at thr Adam, and 
made; a little aprrHi to harif', iH'forr* him, thou^^Ji the alilimii and 
the whole convent uaid that it wan not necenruuy« But iihc 
told theni, that unleftn Adam wore hifi apron, never wrndd «he 
«et foot in the chajH'l. Now, truly thin waH yo'iny^ rathrr far. 
///'///, (the hail heen heard to wonder how the l^ord (»od 
could iM'tid all the animahi nakf*d inti) the world ; an cautf 
do;Miy horniMf, and the likr. Indeed, nhe one day diNputml 
Hharply on the matter with tin- chaplain ; hut he only laughed 
at her, whereupon Dorothea went away in a Nulk." 

I lere iSidonia lau;'hed owti i;dit too ; hut Hoon luM with 
);rave decorum, "(^>uite ri)',ht. The excellent Dorothea 
wan a treasure aliovc all treanuren for the convent* Ah, auch 
chantity and virtue were rari-ly to he met with in thia wicked 
world." 

Now Anna Apf'nl>or;', had hardly turned her hack, to go 
and chatter all thin hack a;'ain to the mdnprioreaa, when 
•Sidonia prcnreeded U> tJip M)nu- i)i her Inrr, aiid called the 
convent pr)rter to h^r, Matthian Winterfrld, bidding him 
carry it witli her jMeetin^rn to the chaplain, David Luileck« 
(l<*or her own maid, Woldi', wan lame, ever nince the racking 
nhe ^'ot at Wol;>ai»t. So Sidonia wan in the hMi of acnd- 
in)', the |K)rter all her tiwnviyt'n, much to hin annoyance.) 
When he came now hr* wan in hin nhiri-nleeven, at which 
Sirlonia wa»j wroth "What did he mean hy j'oing atxwt 
the cr>nvi-nt in nhirt-nleeven ? Never let him ap|iear Ixrfore 
her eyen in nuch unneendy trim. And wan thin a time even 
for nhirt-nl«-even, wlwri they were in the month of Novemlier ? 
liut winU-r or numnwr, he mu«t n«-vi-r ap|Hrar wi." 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 387 



Hereupon the fellow excused himseltl He was killing 
geese for some of the nuos» and had just put off his catt, not 
to have it spoiled by the down ; but she is nothing molUficd 
— scolds him still, so the fellow makes off without another 
word, fearing he might get a touch of the rheumatism, like 
the abbess and his worship the sheriff, and carries the beer- 
can to the reverend chaplain; from whom he soon brings 
back " his grateful acknowledgments to the Lady Sidonia." 

Two days now passed over, but on the third morning 
Anna Apenborg trotted into the refectory full of news. She 
was quite tired from her journey yesterday; for the snow 
was deep on the roads, but to pleasure sister Sidonia (and 
besides, as it was a matter that concerned the honour of the 
convent) she had set off to Jacobshagen, though indeed the 
snow lay ankle-deep. However, she was well rejxiid, and 
had heard all she wanted ; oh, there was great news ! 

IlLu — " Quick ! what ? how ? why ? Remember it is for 
the honour and reputation of the entire convent." 

Äff. — " She had first gone to one person, who pretended 
not to know anything at all of the matter ; but then another 
person had told her the whole story — under the seal of the 
strictest secrecy, however." 

JUa. — ^*«What is it? what is it? How she went on 
chattering of nothing." 

Hätc. — " But will the dear sister promise not to breathe 
it to mortal? She would be ruined with her best friend 
otherwise." 

Ilhu — ".Nonsense, girl ; who could I repeat it to ? Come, 
out with it ! " 

So Anna began, in a very long-winded manner, to explain 
how the burgomaster's wife in Jacobshagen said that her 
maid said that Provost Bamberg's maid said, that while she 
was sweeping his study the other morning, she heard the 
provost's sister say to her brother in the adjoining room, that 
she could not bear the chaplain, David Ludeck, for he had 



388 



SIDONIA TIIK SORCKRKSS 



Ufcn viftiiin); ihnv off' ami on for ever ho long, and yrt never 
Ii.'kI adkcd \ut the cjucHtion. I Ic w.ih a faint-licarUxl coward 
cvidcnlly, and h\h: hated fiiint- hearted men. 

iSidonia yn:w hh red an a fire-lM'acon when f»hc heard thif, 
and walked up and down tfie apartment an if much {Krrturbedy 
HO that Anna ;iHked if the dear »iHter were ill? *^No/' 
wan the aniiwer. She wan only thinking how Ixrst to get 
rid of thin prient, and prevent him running in and out of the 
convent whenever he pleawrd. She mu«t try and have an 
order ittMued, that he was only to vinit the nunii when they 
wen* nick. 'J*hin very day nhe would w*e ;ilx)ut it« Could the 
gornl Anna tell her wh.'it the dheriff had for lunch to-day?'' 

///^/, — "Ay, truly, could ithe; for the milk-girl, who had 
hroujdit her ftome frenh milk, told her that he hafl grA plenty 
of wild fowl, which th'* kee|K'r had nnared in the net; and 
tliere wan to Inr a nweethread U'niden. l^ut what was the 
dear ninter herwif U) eat ? " 

/Airr. — "No matter- -hut did nhe not hear a great ringing 
of Inrlln ? What could the rin;Mn;', he for ? " 

//I/i. — "That wan a ntrange thin;», truly. And there wai 
no one dead, nor any child to Im; chrintened, that she had 
heard of. She would junt run out and Mre, and luring the dear 
ninter word.'* 

///ri, — " Well then, wait till evenin;»,, for it in near noon 
now, and 1 expect a giient U) lunch." 

/Af/r. — " I'ih ? a guent! i\m\ who could it Im??" 

/////. — " Why, the chaplain liimnelf. I want to arrange 
alK>ut hin dinmi'.nal.'' 

So, hardly had nh'- y/)i rid f)f the chatterliox, wlien 
Sidonia called the porter, Matthian, and hid him greet the 
reverend ehaplain from hf-r, and n;iy, that an nhe had some- 
what to auk him conc-rnin;*, the inventiture on Sunday, 
would he he ht-r jMient that tlay at dinner ? She ho|jed to 
have nome ;'anie with a nwer-thread, and excellent Inrer to 
net hefore him. 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 389 



When the porter returned with the answer from his 
reverence, accepting the invitation, she sent him straight to 
the sheriff with a couple of covered dislies, and a message, 
begging his worship to send her half-a-dozen brace or so of 
game, for she heard that a great many had been taken in his 
nets ; and a sweetbread, if he had it, for she had a guest to- 
day at dinner. 

So the dishes came back full — everything just ready to 
be served ; for the cunning hag knew well that he dare not 
refuse her; and immediately afterwards the priest arrived 
to dinner. He was very friendly, but Sidonia caught him 
looking very suspiciously at a couple of brooms which she 
had laid crosswise under the table. So she observed, I 
lay these brooms there, to preserve our dear mother and the 
sheriff from falling again into this sickness. It is part of the 
doctrine of sympathies, and I learned it out of my Herbal, 
as I can show you." Upon which she went to her trunk 
and got the book for the priest, whose fears diminished when 
he saw that it was printed ; but he could not prevail on her to 
lend it to him. 

Summa. — ^The priest grew still more friendly over the 
good eating and drinking ; and she, the old hypocrite, dis- 
coursed him the while about her heavenly bridegroom, and 
threw up her eyes and sighed, at the same time pressing his 
hand fervently. But the priest never minded it, for she was 
old enough to be his mother, and besides, he remembered the 
Scripture — " No man can call Jesus Lord, except through the 
Holy Ghost." So as her every third word was "Jesus," 
he looked upon her as a most discreet and pious Christian, and 
went away much satisfied by her and the good dinner. 



SfDONIA TIIK SOKCKKKSS 



CHArJM'R III. 

Siiltmiii Irh'i annther way to catch the print ^ hut falls thruugh 
ti jtiutakr — ///7//, of her horrible spell^ whereby tht 
hrnvUihrd the whole princely nice of Pomeranian so ihaif 
to the ji'rlenfouj sorrow of their fatherland^ they remain 
harren even unto this day* 

A.1 noon .i« t.fw pioun ablM;»» w;ih ;it)l(r U) Iciivc her bed, the 
ncril for till* pi icnty for ftlic hari utranj^r AUKptcionii alKiut Stdonfa^ 
and askrcl t.li»« nrvcrz-nri clerk, if indmJ her cure could hare 
hccn cfTccif'd hy Hynipatliy ? and wiTc it not rather «omc work 
of the bodily Satin hinif-if ? But my prif-Ht »Mured her con- 
ccrnin;', Sidonia'n Chiirttian faith ; ttrm^ t/ild, to the great 
wondtrrnicnt of the tltat Hhe no lon^^/rr cared for the 

«nil)-piiorrt (wr know why — «fjc would iK)on«rr have the prieit 
than the piiorrt), iiijt war» cont^-nt to Icrt Dorcithca Stettin keqi 
it or rc'ii^Mi it, juut a»» i»he ph-avrl. 

After tliiti, the inveittittire of Sidonra took place, and Che 
pri' fit hleitrted her at the aitir, and adnioniNh(rd her to take at 
her model the wifM- vir;Mn'( rTientir)ned Matt. xx¥. (tnit (irod 
knowH, Hhe had followed the foolififi vxr^xm up to that period^ 
and never ccafH-d doin;'. M) to the end of her dayn )• 

I'iven tm that very nijdit, we idialj »iee her conduct; for ahe 
hid h'T maid, Wolde, run and call up the convent ]K)rtery and 
dei:p:it/:h him infttintly for the priefft, nayinf*, that «he was very 
ill, and h<' niu/tt come and pray with her. Thin excited no 
j»u»jpicion, «jince «he henielf had iforhade the priest entering; the 
convent, unlef»/» any of the fiiftU*rfi were sick. Kut Anna 
Apenliorjf nlipj^-d out of lied when H\\f. heard the noise, and 
watched from the windows for the portirr's nrturn. Then she 

* Nr;te of \)\iVt' IV;^i'J:iff XIV.">" Ay, ami will to the last clay, vak 

mihi" 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 



tosstxl up the Window» though the snow blew in all over her 
bod, and called out, " Well, what says he ? will he come ? 
will he come ? " 

And when the fellow grunted in answer, "Yes, he's 
coming," she wrapped a garment round her, and set herself 
to watch, though her teeth were chattering from cold all the 
time. In due time the priest came, whereupon the curious 
virgin crept out of her garret, and down the stairs to a little 
window in the passage which looked in upon the refectory, 
and through which, in former times, provisions were some- 
times handed in. There she could hear everything that 
passed. 

When the priest entered, Sidonia stretched out her meagre 
arms towards him, and thanked him for coming ; would he 
sit down here on the bed, for there was no other seat in the 
room ? she had much to tell him that was truly wonderful. 
But the priest remained standing : let her speak on. 

lUd. — "Ah! it concerned himself. She had dreamt a 
strange dream (God be thanked that it was not a reality), 
but it left her no peace. Three times she awoke, and three 
fell asleep and dreamt it again. At last she sent for him, for 
there might be danger in store for him, and she would turn it 
away if possible." 

Hk\ — "It was strange, truly. What, then, had she 
dreamed ? " 

Iliii. — " It seemed to her that murderers had got up into 
his room through the window, and just as they were on the 
point of strangling him, she had appeared and put them to 
flight, whereupon — ^" (here she paused and sighed). 

Hlc (in great agitation). — "Go on, for God's sake go on 
— what further ? " 

///</. — "Whereupon — ah! she must tell him now, since 
he forced her to do it. Whereupon, out of gratitude, he took 
her to be his wife, and they were married" (sighing, and 
holding both hands before her eyes). 



39» 



SJDONfA THK SORCERESS 



Hie (claHping his hand»). — Merciful Heaven ! how 
strange ! I dreamt all that ])rcciscly myself." * 

U])on which Sidonia cried out, ^< How can it be possible? 
Ohy it is the will of (}ody David — it is the will of God " (and 
she seized him by l)0th hands). 

])ut the priest remained as cold as the snow outside^ drew 
back his head, and said, Ah ! no doubt these absurdities 
about marriage came into my head because I had been 
thinking so much over our young Lord Philip of Wolgast» 
who was wedded to-day at Berlin." 

Sidonia started up at this, and screamed in rage and anger 
— "What! Duke Philij) married to-day in Berlin? The 
accursed prioress told me the wedding was not to be for 
eight days after the next new moon." 

The priest now was more astonished at her msinner than 
even at t\\v. coincidence of the dreams, and he started back 
from th(r bed. Whereupon, perceiving the mistake she had 
made, the horrilile witch threw herself down again, and letting 
her head fall upon the pillow, murmured, *<Oh! my head! 
my head I She must have locked u]) the moon in the cellar. 
How will the poor people sec now by night ? — why did the 
prioress lock up the moon ? Oh ! my head ! my head ! " 
Then she thanked the priest for coming — it was so good of 

• 'I'hfi iK)w«r of producing! j):irticnl.ir dreams l)y volition, was rcoog- 
ni'icrl hy the ancients and ))liilosr>plif:rs of the Middle Af^cs. Bx, 
AllH:rtus Ma^jnns n^Iatirs {iJe Mirahilihus Mundi 205) that horrible 
dreams can 1x: produced by placing; an afxr's skin iinflirr the pillow. 
I If; also )pv(:s a receipt for m:ikinf; women tell tiinir secrets in sleep 
(hut tliis I shall Vvy\) in mysftif). Sucli phenomena are neither physio- 
lo/jif:ally nor psycholoj^ically iniposj.lMe, hut our moflern physiolofpsts 
are content to take the mere \nuy\- form of nature, flisv:ct it. ilnatoniiae 
it, and then hury it licneath the ..and of their hy]K;thes«!S. Thus, inrlerd. 
"the deacl hury thi:ir dead," while all the stran^fj;. mysterious, inner 
power:, of n:iture, which the philosojiher, of the Middle Afjcs, as I'scllui. 
AllxTtus y[A\\\\\v\, I rithemitis, Cardanur^, Theophastus. &c.. did so 
nmch to elucidate, are at onci; <1i])pantly and i^nrirantly pl.ioed in the 
ciitegory of " Suixjrilitions," " AhMirditios," and " Artful iJeocptions*" 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 393 



him ; but she was worse — much worse. «* Ah ! her head ! 
her head ! Better go now — but let him come again in the 
morning to see her," So the good priest believed in truth 
that the detestable hag was very ill, and evidently suffering 
from fever ; so he went his way pitying her much, and with- 
out the least suspicion of her wicked purposes. 

Scarcely, however, had he closed the door, when Sidonia 
sprang like a cat from her bed, and called out, "Wolde, 
Wolde ! " And as the old witch hobbled in with her lame 
leg, Sidonia raged and stamped, crying out, " The accursed 
abbess has lied to me. Ernest Ludovicus' brat was married 
to-day at Berlin. Oh ! if I am too late now, as on his 
fether's marriage, I shall hang myself in the laundry. Where 
is Chim — ^the good-for-nothing spirit ? — ^he should have seen 
to this." And she dragged him out and beat him, while he 
quaked like a hare. 

Whereupon Wolde called out, " Bring the padlock from 
the trunk." The other answered, "What use now? — the 
bridal pair are long since wedded and asleep." To which 
the old witch replied, " No ; it is twelve o'clock here, but 
in Berlin it wants a quarter to it yet. There is time. The 
Berlin brides never retire to their apartment till the clock 
strikes twelve. There is time still." 

" Then," exclaimed Sidonia, " since the devil cannot tell 
me on what day they hold bridal, I will make an end now of 
the whole accursed grifHn brood, in all its relationships, branch 
and root, now and for evermore, in Wolgast as in Stettin ; be 
they destroyed and rooted out for ever and for ever." Then 
she took the padlock, and murmured some words over it, of 
which Anna Apenborg could only catch the names, Philip, 
Francis, George, Ulrich, Bogislaff, who were all sons to Duke 
BogislafF XIII., and, in truth, died each one without leaving 
an heir. And, during the incantation, the light trembled and 
burned dim upon the table, and the thing which she had beaten 
seemed to speak with a human voice, and the bells on the turret 



.394 SIDONIA THK SOKCKRKSS 

swung in the wind with n low sound, so that Anna fell on her 
knees from horror, and scarcely dartnl to brcstthc. 

Then the accursed sorceress gave the ]Kullock and key to 
Wolde, bidding her go forth by night and fling it into the 
sea, repeating the words :— 

" Hid deep in the sea 
I Ait my dark hik;!! Ik*, 
Vor ever, for ever I 
To rise, up iu!vi!r ! " 

Then Wolde asked, « Had she forgotten Duke Casimir 
Whereat iSidonia laughed and said, 'I^he Ai>ell had lonj; been 
on him." And immediately after, Anna Ajwnborg tx*held 
i/jree shadows, in place of two, thrown u))on the white wall 
op])08itc the litde window. So she strengthened her heart 
to look in, and truly there was another form preHent now. 
And the three danced together, and chanted strange rhymef, 
while the shsidows on the wall danccrd up and down likcwiie* 
Then a deep bass voice called out, <MIa! there is Chris- 
tian flesh here ! Ha ! th<rre is Christian flesh I " Where- 
upon Anna, though nearly dead with fright, crejjt up to her 
garret on her knees, while loud laughter resounded behind 
her ; and it seemed as if old pots were flung up the stairs after 
her.* For the rest of that night she could not close her 
eyes. 

Next morning, one can eanly imagine with what eagerness 

* Note of Duke iV^giil'iff XiV.—Incrcdibile ;janc, el Unittw vcrtniL 
Cur, mi I>cu.s?— [It sccmo \m\yy:/A\j\ti, and yet how true. WtKreforr. 
my (i<A '{ 

The sjjf;11 by knotting; ;;ird)r: is \\ti\S*rA by Vir^l, 8tli eclogue : 

" Ncclc tribus nodi*; f.-rrjo-; Am.'irylli colore?; 
Ncclc Aniarylli iiifAo, tl Vttrnrri i di'j vincula r^cto." 

' In t!jr'.-<; knots AinmyljJ*, Acavc'; Ihr^ic diff«rrcnl c/yl'yiirs; 
Aju'.iJ)... . *:r.ot.» and : I k.'iOt Ih*: jjirdic of VwiUJi. j 

The live of the ]r.if\]*x:k i > r.ot ;:i«;:ition»:d until the Mj'Wi« Ages, when 
i I I \ t o h ;i w'z Jyr'rn '-.o rr j *; .*; i ],\ ',y>'A t J I . «rf «: or 'iJ jajj or. were 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 395 



she hutried to the abbess, to relate the past night's horrible 
tile. Sidonia likewise is astir early, for by daybreak she 
despatched her old lame Wolde to the chaplain (the porter 
wi\s not up yet) with a can of beer for his great trouble the 
night before, and trusted it would strengthen his heart. In 
this beer she had poured her detestable love-philtrum, to 
awaken a passion for herself in the breast of the reverend 
David, but it turned out quite otherwise, and ended after the 
most ludicrous ^shion, no doubt all owing to the malice of 
the spirit Chim, in revenge for the blows she had given him 
the night previous; for, behold, as soon as the priest had 
swallowed a right good draught of beer, he began to stare at 
the old hag and murmur ; then he passed his hand over his 
eyes, and motioned her to remain. Again he looked at her 
— ^twice, thrice — ^put some silver into her hand, and at last 
spiike — " Ah ! Wolde, what a beautiful creature you are ! 
Where have my eyes been, that I never discovered this 
before?" 

The cunning hag saw now plainly what the drink had 
done, and which way the wind blew. So she sat herself 
down simpering, by the stove, and my priest crept up close 
beside her ; he took her hand — Ah ! how fat and plump it 
was — such a beautiful hand.*' 

But the old hag' drew it back, saying, " Let me go, Mr. 
David ! " To which he answered, " Yes, go, my treasure ! 
I love to see you walk ! What an exquisite limp ! How 
stupid are men nowadays not to see all the beauty of a 
limp ! Ah ! Venus knew it well, and therefore chose 
\'ulcan, for he, too, limped like my Wolde. Give me a kiss 
then, loveliest of women! Ah! what enchanting snow- 
white hair, like the purest silver, has my treasure on her 
head." 

No wonder the old lame hag was tickled with the com- 
mendations, for, in all the sixty years of her life, she never 
had heard the like before. But she played the prude, and 



SIDONfA J'HK S()K(;KKKSS 



]>uf<)i(:(l away the prirrHt with hirr hand, juHt ;iHf by good for- 
iunv, a nH:Hw:uy/-r from the ahlx:»» knocked at the dooTf with 
a rcqucHt that the chaplain wciiihi conic to the gtHxl mother 
without delay. So the old ha^; went away with the maid <ff the 
n\)\)t:HHf and the prie»t Ht/>p|H;<l to drcHH himself more decently* 
Hut in Home time the alilxrHfi, who wan on the watchy MW 
him fttridin;; |;;ifit her drxir ; w) nhe o|;f:ned the window and 
called out U) know Where waff he goin^; ? Had he for- 
y<tiUrn that r»he lived there?" To which he anwweredy 

ilc niufft Hrfit vi»it Sidonia." At thi« the worthy imtron 
Htired at him in horror ; lint my prie»t went on ; and sm he 
cared more for thr- maid than the miHtre»» now, ran at once 
into the kiudieri, witliout w;iitin;; to wrc Sidonia in the rcfec* 
ü)ry ; and «ei/in;», hold of Wolde, whiuj^rred, ** That the 
munt yivc him the ki't't nov/ -fthe ne(rd not be ffuch a prude^ 
for he liad no wife. And what beautiful hair! Never in 
hilf life had he »een tmch beautiful white hair! " ßuttheold 
haj; »tili reftiftted ; and in the f»tru;',jde a hUuAf on which lay a 
]Hit, wa'( thrown down. 

Sidonia rufihed in at tlie noinrr ; and Ixrhold ! there wsu my 
prieHt holding, Wolde by the iiand. She nearly fainted at the 
Hiyht. What wa/f he doin;; witli her maid ? 'i^hen fei'^ung a 
hwivy lo;» of wofxl, nlie b'-;»an U) lay it on Woldc'g ihoulderi» 
who »creanied and roared, while my prie»t iflunk away ashamcdy 
witliout a word ; and an he tan down the ffte);ff, hmrd the blowi 
and the (»creani'i f)till re'ioundin;' from the kitchen. 

Ah he pa'ifM'd tlie door of the 'Mh*hh*h room, a^ain »hc called 
liim in; but hh he entered, fthe exclaimed in Urrror, "My 
Ood, what ailtt your reverence? You look hh black and rod 
in the face a<» if you had harl a fit, ami had j^rown ten yean 
older in on" u'lyU*. ! '* 

Nothinj', ailri nie," he an'iwered ; tlien Hij^Jurd, and walked 
up and down tlif* room, nnjrmurinj',, What in the world to 
nie? Why «hould f care what the world thinkü ? " Theo 
fall'} flat on the ;M'onnd a<i if he were dead, while the good 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 397 



abbess screams and calls for help. In runs Anna Apenborg — 
f/<7n, several other sisters with their maids, and they stretch the 
priest out upon a bench near the stove, where he soon begins 
to foam at the mouth, and throw up all the beer, with the 
love-philtrum therein, which he had drunk (Sidonia's power 
effected this, no doubt, since she saw how matters stood). 

Then he heaved a deep sigh, opened his eyes, and asked, 
" Where am I ? " Whereupon, finding that his reason and 
clear understanding had been restored to him, he requested the 
sisterhood to depart (for they had all rushed in to hear what 
was going on) and leave him alone with the abbess, as he had 
matter of grave import to discuss with her. Whereupon they 
all went out, except Anna Apenborg, who said that she, too, 
had matter of grave import to relate. So finding she would 
not stir, the priest took her by the hand, and put her out at the 
door along vnth the others. 

Now when they were both left alone, we can easily imagine 
the subject of their conversation. The poor priest made his 
confession, concealing nothing, only lamenting bitterly how he 
had disgraced his holy calling ; but he had felt like one in a 
dream, or under some influence which he could not shake ofF. 
In return, the abbess told him of the horrible scene witnessed 
by Anna Apenborg the night before ; upon which they both 
agreed that no more accursed vntch and sorceress was in the 
world than their poor cloister held at that moment. Finally, 
putting all the circumstances together, the reverend David 
began to perceive what designs Sidonia had upon him, particu- 
larly when he heard of Anna Apenborg's visit to Jacobshagen, 
and the news which she had brought back from thence. So 
to destroy all hope at once in the accursed sorceress, and save 
himself from further importunity and persecution on her part, 
he resolved to offer his hand the very next day to Barbara 
Bamberg, for, in truth, he had long had an eye of Christian love 
upon the maiden, who was pious and discreet, and just suited 
to be a pastor's wife. 



39« 



SIDOMA TMK SOKCKRKSS 



Then t.li'7 :iyn't'(\ to wnd for i\w ffhcrif?', aiuJ im|iart the 
w\u)\r ni.'ittrr U) him, lir hcin^M:loi<tU'r HiiiKTinicmlcnt ; butliii 
Huuwrr w;iH, " Lvi ihnn yn U) liini, if thry wanted U> H\tiiuk 
U) liitti ; for, an to him, li'r would never enter the convent 
;ij>;iin — hi<< poor hody hiul nuffmni Uhi much there the kut 

Wh<?n'U])on tlicy wnt to him ; hut he could j'lve no counsel, 
tmly to leave the m.itüT in ihr hami« of (ifnl the f #or<l ; for 
if tlwy a|)|K'alrd to thr- IVinc(r, the W)rccre«» would »urely 
Urwitch them a^'ain, and they would Ix? Hcrcfimin;; day 
and nijdit, or niayU- die at oner, and then what help for 
them, rVc. 

•Sidonia me;inwhile wait not. idle; for hUc mmt mcMage» 
throii)'hout the whoN* ronvent that «he lay in her lHr*i tick 
nntr> dr-ath, and they nniftt needn come and pray with her, 
alonj', with the piiefit, U-fore they afMemhled in the clia|N:l for 
Hcrvice. At thin open hIaMphemy an(l hyiKKirisy, a great 
fear and horror fell upon the ahU:HN, likewiw; u|Kin the 
priem, ffince the witi:h had specially named him, ami riefiired 
that he would ronie /y/forr «ervicrr to pray with her. For a 
Ion;', whik li'- li<-Hit.;ited, at la«t promiwrd to vinit her aftfr 
wrv'u.i' ; hut a;'ain lH'thou;dit hinvK'lf that it would Ix; mmt 
adviitahir: to viwit her iM-fon*, for he nii;dit jKmibly succeed 
in iinveilin;', all her iniquitie», or if not, he could pray after- 
wardn in the ehnrrh, "that if indeed Sidonia were really 
f»ir:k, and a child of Ood, the juftt and merciful l''ather would 
raioe her up ;ind ittren;>then her in her weakneiM; Init if she 
wr-re j)racti«in;', deceit, and were no chiM of Ocxl, but an 
accurm-d limh of Satin, then he would )dve her up into the 
liamhi of (fod for puninhment, for had He not wiid, 'Venge- 
ance VI Mine, J will repay, »aith the Lord'? (Romans 
xii. lij.y 

Tili« plea'jr-d the ahhe<jn, and forth with the reverend David 
procc'-ded to i\u: refect^ny. 

Now Sidonia had not expr-cf-d him no early, and she was 



SIDONIA THE SORCERESS 399 



up and dressed, busily brewing another hellish drink to have 
ready for him by the time he arrived; but when his step 
sounded in the passage, she whipped into bed and covered 
herself up with the clothes, not so entirely, however, but that 
a long tail of her black robe fell outside from under the white 
sheet — this, unluckily for herself, she knew nothing of. The 
priest, however, saw it plainly, and had, moreover, heard the 
jump she gave into bed just as he opened the door ; but he 
made no remark, only greeted her as usual, and asked what 
she wanted with him. 

Ilhu — " Ah ! she was sick, sick unto death — would he 
not pray for her ? for the night before she was too ill to pray, 
and no doubt the Lord was angry with her, by reason of the 
omission. This morning, indeed, she had crept out of bed, 
just to scold her awkward maid for breaking all the pots and 
pans, as he himself saw, but had to go to bed again, and was 
growing weaker and weaker every quarter of an hour. But 
the good priest must taste her beer ; let him drink a can of 
it first to strengthen his heart. It was the best beer she had 
made yet, and her maid had just tapped a fresh barrel." 

Here the reverend David made answer — "He thanked 
her for her beer, but would drink none. He could not be- 
lieve, either, that she was as ill as she said, and had been 
lying in bed all the morning." 

But she persisted so vehemently in her falsehoods that the 
very boards under her must have felt ashamed, if they had 
possessed any consciousness. Whereupon the priest shuddered 
in horror and disgust, bent down silently, and lifted up the 
piece of her robe which lay outside. 

" What did this mean ? did she wear her nun's dress in 
bed ? or was she not rather making a mock of him, and the 
whole convent, by her pretended sickness ? " 

Here Sidonia grew red with shame and wrath ; but, ere 
she could utter a word, the priest continued with a holy and 
righteous anger — 



SIDONIA THK SOKCKUKSS 



Wo(r to iliccr, Sidoni;! ! for thou art a byword amooj^ 
the )K*opl(r. W(Kr to thfTCy Sidonia ! for thou ha«t ]ni9iicd thy 
youth in wantotincHii and thy old a;;«: in »in. Woe to thcc« 
Sidonia ! for thy hrllinh arUt hrou);ht thy mother the abbcMy 
and thy father tlie Hu{H;rintendenty nearly to their gravct. 
W(k; to thee, Sidonia ! for thi» past nij',ht thou hast taken a 
horrihle reven^'e u]xm the whole princely race, and cur«od 
them by the jKJwer which the devil ßivc« thcc. Woe U) 
thee, Sidonia ! for by thy hellinh drink thou didnt icck to 
dcwtroy nie, the wrvatit of the living; Ofxl, U) thy horrible 
maid «tili more horribly attracting me. Woe to thcc, 
Sidonia ! accurued witch and »orcereHH, blaiiphemer of God 
;ind man ! Uehold, thy C^od liveth, and thy Prince liveth, 
;ind they will rain fire and brimstone upon thy infamous head. 
Woe to the<: I wfM? U) the<! ! woi! to thcc ! thou false ser|ient 
— thou accurwd ;ibove all the generation» of vi|)cr8 — how wilt 
thou e«ca|)e eternal damnation ? " 

When the right<*ouH pricHt of God h;ul ended his fearful 
malediction, lie HiuriM at himself, for he knew not how the 
worth had amw into hi» mouth ; then turned from the bod 
and went out, whiK* a {leal of laughter followed him from 
the r(>oni. But no evil hap{)ened to him at that time, as he 
h;ul fully ex])ected, from Sidonia (prol>ably she feared to 
(•xaH|H'rat,e the convent and the IVince against her too much) ; 
but n\u' treasured up her vengeance t^) another op{)ortunity9 as 
we nhall hear further on. 



KNO OF vol,, f. 

I'Kirrikii ifV itAi.i.Arri VMK, hanviM ahu Uk 
I'.iiirinuic'.if ANii utNttoM, 



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