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Secret Societies of the Middle Ages

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Author Topic: Secret Societies of the Middle Ages  (Read 2822 times)
Trena Alloway
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« Reply #165 on: February 04, 2009, 01:19:59 pm »

[paragraph continues] The initiation of a schöppe was attended with a good deal of ceremony. He appeared bareheaded before the assembled tribunal, and was there questioned respecting his qualifications. Then, kneeling down, with the thumb and forefinger of his right hand on a naked sword and a halter, he pronounced the following oath after the count:--

"I promise, on the holy marriage, that I will, from henceforth, aid, keep, and conceal the holy Fehms, from wife and child, from father and mother, from sister and brother, from fire and wind, from all that the sun shines on and the rain covers, from all that is between sky and ground, especially from the man who knows the law, and will bring before this free tribunal, under which I sit, all that belongs to the secret jurisdiction of the emperor, whether I know it to be true myself, or have heard it from trustworthy people, whatever requires correction or punishment, whatever is Fehm-free (i.e. a crime committed in the county), that it may be judged, or, with the consent of the accuser, be put off in grace; and will not cease so to do, for love or for fear, for gold or for silver, or for precious stones; and will strengthen this tribunal and jurisdiction with all my five senses and power; and that I do not take on me this office- for any other cause than for the sake of right and justice; moreover, that I will ever further and honour this free tribunal more than any other free tribunals; and what I thus promise will I stedfastly and firmly keep, so help me God and his Holy Gospel."

He was further obliged to swear that he would ever, to the best of his ability, enlarge the holy empire; and that he would undertake nothing with unrighteous hand against the land and people of the stuhlherr.

The count then inquired of the officers of the

p. 350

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