The Witch

The Witch



Three days later, on 20 August in the year of our Lord 1633, padre Benjamin received the following records in the city magistrate:
Records of 18 August 1633 on the court questioning by torture of Johana Gracijanić, born somewhere in the East, assumed: in the district of Macedonia.
Confiscated from her: one sorcery bag, with a number of unusual hollow needles, with colors made of herbs, for which the accused claims have been used to create “pictures” on the body, most probably Devil’s seals. Thus, there is a reasonable doubt that she is a Devil’s confidant: she is literate, but of no noble origin. She admits that she is a daughter of Isian, the pastor of Macedonia. Also confiscated from the bag: herbs she claims she has used for healing, although the court also knows of practices of making poisonous potions out of this very same, above mentioned herbs. Also: a magnifying glass, a gift of her prosecutor, reverend Florian, which has most probably been altered in purpose by the witch, in accordance with her devilish skills, since she carried it with her.
Confiscated from the old man: one mysterious writing book with black leather covers and yellow parchment, composed with illegible eastern Macedonian letters, with a title that means “A Book about the Book” (this is said by the accused since she also knows our Croatian language). She says that the writing book is hers and that she lost it in his house on the night the old man was arrested, and she escaped the search party. According to her statement, she had written and composed the book herself. This strange witch has written her thoughts about letters and books in it. This strange composition of hers has a heretical learning that colors are the same as the sounds and smells, and our Holy Lord was not perfect and that he had allegedly forgotten to give us another sense, that is, that the most perfect book would be the one written in flesh, lustful, lecherous smells instead of words, for the words are the real Word, and only God is the Word and light. Other devilish, midnight and moon studies are elaborated there as well, such as the one that the most perfect and most passionate, eternally changeable book, the one eternally in creation and loss would be the one of circular shape. The wiring book is filled in calligraphy, which, after a check has been determined to indeed belong to the accused.

In the year of our Lord 1633, on 18 August, in the watch tower of the free and royal city of Zagreb on Grički hill, fully inside the walls and the fortification walls of the city and the district, on the usual torture place, Johana Gracijanić, based on the conclusion of the master inquisitor was first duly and in the Christian spirit encouraged and seriously warned to discover what was to be discovered. However, since she still persisted in denying, she was handed at 6 o’clock in the morning to the Minister of Justice, the torturer, so that he can examine her body and find devil’s seals. The seal was found immediately, in the shape of a lively colored butterfly under her belly, towards the private place which in itself verifies the truth that this poor thing had allowed the Devil to seal her with such a visible and shameful sign that the torturer, after he had cut it off her body, showed it to the honorable court of the city of Zagreb with a horrible shame and visible disgust. When asked when and how the Devil had sealed her, the accused said that she had marked herself, with needles and colors for writing on the skin. The seal clearly shows the two Latin letters that the butterfly is made of in inseparable connection, in a lecherous embrace: J and B, which indicates that the Devil probably bears a name that starts on B.
Large drops of sweat ran down the forehead of padre Benjamin. Tears fell from his eyes. His eyes followed the small letters of the record taker:
Upon this remark, the witch Johana answered by an excuse that she had never seen the devil nor copulated with him that she knows of no name that starts in B. Since she denied, at six thirty she was subjected to torture by tying and constriction of her arms. She sustained on this torture device until nine thirty when she was taken off the device and handed to the second minister of justice, who put her on stretching ladders.
After six hours of torture on this device, she was taken off the ladders and returned to her cell due to loss of her strength.
The torture was continued on midnight on the same day when the accused was put on the stretching ladders again. Until six in the morning on 19 August she was tortured in order to confess that she has caused masculine impotence with her excellent husband, the reverend and already mentioned Florian, but she denied everything. When she was asked how she had obtained various magical herbs and what she used them for, she said that she treated her father, the illusionist and shadow maker, the witch Isian from Macedonia, for whom the excellent master inquisitor had already opened a case with indisputable proofs of heresy. Despite fire being burnt on her loins, the accused would admit to nothing more.
At six o’clock in the morning she was taken off the device and after an hour of break in which the accused asked for water, for which she has an indisputable right after twelve hours spent in torture, Spanish boot was put on her foot. After two hours spent on this torture device, the accused Johana Gracijanić finally admitted that she copulated with the Devil, in the first night (17 August) when she was brought to the dungeon. She copulated with him in her cell. The fiend appeared in the face of the city inquisitor, addressed her with “mila moja djevojčice” and “ludice moja”, which confirms that the Devil knows all the languages in the world, including Croatian, he promised her salvation if she repented and copulated with him, but she answered that she had nothing to repent for and that she was honorable. After she told him that, he jumped on her and he lived with her with force as a man lives with a woman. It was cold, as well as the semen, which is an indisputable proof that it was the Devil and not our honorable lord, the inquisitor. From the above said one can conclude (and the court council of city dignitaries has concluded this in a special conclusion about this case, under no. 167/4) that the fiend chooses no means in his fight with Our Lord Jesus Christ and that he already dares to take upon himself the appearance of our most excellent and most reverend leaders, especially those who conduct these horribly painful processes filled with temptations, to humiliate them, disgrace them and soil their dignity and respect.
Verdict: the mentioned Johana shall be burnt in the first hour after sunrise, on 21 August, on Captol, together with her father, the old man Isian, as an example for everybody of the free and royal city of Zagreb, who are tempted to take Devil’s seal.
The book fell from padre Bejamin’s hands. His eyes were bloodshot, his mouth was dry; he had no more tears. He looked through the window: the people carried posts and boards for building the stake. At a moment he thought of writing the Pope, beg him on his knees for her life, but he understood that there was no horse faster than death, even if he had light for dinner instead of hay; he understood that the bastard with snake eyes deliberately reached the verdict in a day, and he planned the punishment for the next one. He could do nothing else but wait for a miracle; everything was in God’s hands, like that time when the stone took it; not the fire takes what he loves the most! Isn’t it the same, padre Benjamin, two faces of the same death?
Crying, the most perfect letters, meaning in postponing, light of this world, therefore dark!

2018-08-21T17:23:03+00:00 May 10th, 2008|Categories: Prose, Literature, Blesok no. 59|0 Comments