Friday, October 19, 2007

#2141-To Johann Friedrich, Elector of Saxony

To the illustrious, high-born Prince and Lord, Herr Johann Friedrich, Duke in Saxony and Elector, Arch-Marchall of the H.R. Empire, Landgraf in Thuringia and Markgraf in Meissen, my most gracious Lord.

G.a. (grace and) peace in Christ together with my poor Vater=Unser. Illustrious, high-born Prince, most gracious Lord! ECFG's Chancellor D.Brueck has indicated to me the gracious offer of ECFG toward me since death's course continues here; and I thank ECFG in complete obedience for such gracious care and offer and want to give an obedient answer whether such a situation may arise. However, my trustworthy rooster-weather-vane Landvoigt Hans Metzsch has such a sober"curse-nose" (Geiers=Nase?) previously that when the Pestilenz was within five Elle (yards?) on the earth he could smell it easily. Because he is staying here I cannot believe that the Pestilenz will be here. It is true that a house or two has something similar but the air is not yet poisoned. Since Tuesday (July 6)no corpse or sick one has been found; yet because the dog-days are at hand and the young fellows are frightened I have permitted them to have some fun jesting until their thoughts are quieted until one sees what is going to happen. I have noted however that many of the same youth are glad to hear of the cry of Pestilenz as the swarm is on the school sack, pain in the books, cramps in the pens, and gout on the paper; for many their color (Dinte?) has become white-like; several are devouring letters from mothers which gives them heart-pains and longing for their home lands and there are likely more of similar frailties than I can relate. And there is a danger if the parents and superiors do not take such illnesses seriously and provide all sorts of medicines there could be well a epidemic of death so that there is neither preacher nor parish-leader or school-master until finally the best cattle become pure sows and dogs while the Papists continue to work feverishly. However, Christ our LOrd give ECFG as He has grace and mercy together with all Christian authority strong medicines and drugs against such sickness to the praise and glory of God and to the vexing of Satan the enemy of all art and discipline, Amen. Herewith, be comnmended to God, Amen. Friday after Visit.(Visitation) of Mary (9 July) 1535. ECFG's Obedient Mart.Luther.

I humbly plead that ECFG will not forget my poor Hieronymous Weller.
NOTE: The Editors say that ML is jesting about the plague perhaps to alleviate the Elector's fear for his life but it also seems to me that the pest is getting too attention and that the Wittenberg students are being diverted from the mission of spreading the Gospel of Life in their concern for this life's well being.Luther's reference to his rooster-weather-vane (Wetterhahn) appears in a following letter without mentioning Hans Metsch who then had left Wittenberg but not because of the plague. believe that Metzsch was one of the Visitors appointed by the Electoral Court.

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