Tuesday, November 20, 2007

#2165-To Justus Jonas

(Editor says this is a joking (Scherzhafte) invitation of ML to Jonas to the Doctorschmaus)
Grace and peace! I hope that you have received the letters and the debate, my dear Jonas, at the same time also what we, as the swine who taught Minerva, say what you should say at the Promotion. Now the head-cook (Archmagrius), my Lord Kaethe, requests
that as you receive these Thaler you would purchase for us birds,poultry, and a small number of flying animals and whatever is placed under the dominion of man in that airy kingdom of the feathered(whatever can be eaten)but no ravens according to God's will; yet sparrows which can be devoured all at once; and if you have to pay anything more it will be recompenced. So then if you buy some rabbits or tasty morsels or hunt something which satisfies the bodies of all send it or otherwise that fitting drink which men call Cythus (beer). My lord Kaethe has seven quarts (quartalia, as it is called)cooked in which she mixes 32 bushels of malt by which she wants to satisfy my taste. She hopes it will become a good beer. What it will be you and the others will taste.

There is nothing new, as you know, beyond the victory of the Emperor in Africa. However, Duke Georg and the Bishop of Halle had a meeting in which they concluded to lay upon their people that each week they fast three days for the Emperor and partake of the Sacrament under one form so that in the future everything will turn out happily. If now the Emperor obtains Constantinopel (if God grants it) God will not have accomplished it without the three days of fasting and the one form of the Sacrament. That is actually the word of the poet: whoever has the smarts, which you have, will easily transfer the glory to himself that which has been brought about by another. Now I understand why Terence called that Thraso a harmful man. However these words are those of Scipio and Laelius not of Terence. However, Christ lives and sees this unutterable evil of the devil and humans. However, we also live and are joyful midst this anger of the devil and of men and actually feast and make it a feast-day while they bare their teeth miserably if you happily come by us with these captured feathered animals and force them, after they have forsaken the absolutely free kingdom of the air, to go to the prison of the pots among the citified herd. My Kaethe greets you all in a friendly and respectful way. But listen again, when you greet mine, so I also greet yours; like must be repaid with like. Be it well with you in the LOrd. 1535 the 4th of Sept. Your Martin Luther.
NOTE: The quote of Terence which the editor says ML doesn't quote exactly is : Labore alieno magno partam gloriam verbis saepe in se transmovet, qui sal habet, quod in te est. Terent. Eunuch.III,1,9.

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