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MARTIN LUTHER AND HIS WORK
THE CENTURY MAGAZINE
Melanchthon, when he could not get meat curious mixture of German
A masterful person Käthe was, with a and neighbors were frequent "
the reputation of being a capable but some the regular members other
, and has already reached the fifth seem as if the effect wu.
With all his playful raillery, he valued ject, grave
, and was very glad to recently recovered short, wholly over to her. Though we hear of scribes were waiting lipunan simply that. While her tastes were not monplace enough, but 2323
sure he was rightly understood or correctly His chief relaxation he always found in reported, but frequently we run upon social intercourse. Particularly when decharacteristic sayings which could have pressed, as he often was, he sought comcome from no one else and errich and add fort and relief in the society of others. to the vividness of our portrait of the man. When in the mood he could be a fascinat
His conversation was apt to be much ing companion, and many were the merry freer than would be at all admissible to- hours spent at table with colleagues and day. In that respect he was a child of his friends. Speaking once of his faith in age, for high and low alike were less care- the gospel and of his confidence in his ful in speech then than now. To be sure, divine call, he added: "But when I conhe was often coarser than even the loose sider my own weakness, how I eat and standards of the day approved. His humor drink, and at times am merry and a good was broad rather than subtle and delicate, table-companion, I begin to be in doubt." and to men of the type of Erasmus and On another occasion, when entertaining Melanchthon it often seemed only buffoon- some of his colleagues at dinner, he called ery. To the end of his life he retained the company's attention to a large winemany of the characteristics of a peasant, glass encircled with three rings. The first, and he wielded in talk, as in controversy, he said, represented the Ten Commandan ax rather than a Damascus blade. But ments, the second the Creed, and the third with all his lack of refinement, he was the Lord's Prayer. Having emptied it at essentially a wholesome and clean-minded a single draft, he filled it again and passed man. Despite the many unquotable things it to Agricola, something of a fanatic on he said and wrote to illustrate a point or the subject of faith, who was able to get enforce an argument or give sting to his no further than the Ten Commandments, polemic, there is surprisingly little vul- to Luther's great amusement. garity or obscenity for its own sake either Beer and wine he partook of freely, as in his table-talk or in his writings.
was the custom of his countrymen, and his Pure he was in life, too. Attacks of table-conversation may often have been course were made upon his moral character less restrained in consequence; but his by his enemies, and all sorts of unsavory enemies exaggerated when they accused stories were told about him. But for none him of being a hard drinker. While he of them can a shred of evidence be found, never criticized the moderate use of wine though he lived for twenty-five years in a and beer, he always severely denounced blaze of publicity, observed of all the over-indulgence in them, not sparing even world and spied upon by countless critics. his own elector, John Frederick, who, The most his bitter enemies, the radicals, with all his piety, was prone to frequent who lived near by and knew him well, intoxication. According to Melanchthon, could urge against him when they tried to Luther was always abstemious both in blacken his character was his liking for food and drink, and often, when absorbed society, his fondness for playing the lute, in work, fasted completely for days at a his luxurious living, and, strange to say, time. An immoderate drinker, at any his fine dressing, for on state occasions, it rate, he certainly was not. Had he been, seems, he was fond of wearing starched he could not possibly have kept up year cuffs and a gold chain. The radicals were after year, day in and day out, to the very the Puritans of the day, and their stan- end of his life, his tremendous and unredards were very rigorous. Luther himself mitting labors. Almost superhuman they was certainly not a Puritan. He believed seem, as we look back upon them. Only a in innocent pleasure, and had no desire to man of extraordinary self-control and conmake of Wittenberg what Calvin later stant concentration of purpose could have made of Geneva. He liked particularly to accomplished what he did. see young people enjoy themselves. Danc- Despite his public labors, which con. ing and private theatricals he approved of tinued unabated, Luther showed himself for them, and he played at bowls and chess no little of a family man. He did conhimself. He was fond of pictures as well siderable gardening, and took a great in. as of music, and had a Madonna in his terest in getting rare plants from distant chamber, to the great scandal of the Prot- parts of the country. Not long after his estant rigorists.
marriage he wrote Spalatin: “I have LXXXII-90
are full of informal ander sions of opinion on eserie
turn the management of family affairs freely and unconscioust s
The records of court 4*
her chiefly as a housewife
, she was not Often the talk, as we have
, for we .222.
planted a garden and dug a well, and both soul is almost like a woman's, so moved have turned out successfully. Come, and am I with misery. I could never have beyou shall be crowned with lilies and roses." lieved that the hearts of parents are so He provided himself with a carpenter's tender toward their children. Pray the bench and turning-lathe, securing Lord for me!” through his friend Link in Nuremberg The great grief of his life was the death, the best tools to be had, and he proved not in 1542, of his favorite child, Magdalen, unskilful in making useful articles for the when thirteen years of age.
She was a house. He continued to mend his own sweet and gentle character, and her parclothes, not, as he declared, for the sake ents' hearts were wrapped up in her. As of economy, but because the tailors were she lay dying, a friend tells us, Luther so poor. On one occasion Käthe had to threw himself on the floor beside her bed, complain that he had cut up one of the weeping bitterly and praying for her children's garments to patch his own trou- restoration; but she passed away in his sers with.
arms, while Käthe stood apart, overcome Instead of working night and day, as with emotion. For all his Christian faith he commonly had before his marriage, he and the consolations of the gospel he had now permitted himself more leisure of an brought to many others in similar afflicevening, and confined his study and writ- tion, he realized now, as he never had being chiefly to the daytime. It was his fore,. the clamorous insistence of human custom, so he remarked in 1537, to go to grief. “It is strange," he exclaimed, “to bed regularly at nine o'clock, an extraor- know she is certainly well and at peace, dinary contrast to the late hours he kept and yet to be so sorrowful.” Her parents in earlier years. When the children came, never ceased mourning her. Not long behe loved to spend such time as he could fore his death Luther wrote a friend: "It spare with them, and they were devotedly is extraordinary how the loss of my Magattached to him. From Torgau he once dalen continues to oppress me. I cannot wrote Käthe: “Although it is market sea- forget her." son here, I can find nothing in this city for Despite these afflictions, Luther's marthe children. Have something on hand if ried life, taking it as a whole, was genuI should fail to bring anything home for inely happy. Few of the world's greatest them."
men have been privileged to enjoy for Their marriage was blessed with six many years the solace and comfort of children, Hans, who was named after Lu- home and family as he did. It seems at ther's father; Elizabeth ; Magdalen; Mar- first almost incongruous. The modern tin; Paul, named for his favorite apostle; world's foremost prophet living the life of and Margaret. Elizabeth died in infancy. a family man and interesting himself in Immediately afterward, in a letter to a
the petty affairs of a German professor's friend, Luther wrote: “My little Eliza- home! But it helped to keep him human, beth, my wee daughter, is dead. It is won- and it should help us to realize his humanderful how sorrowful she has left me. My
(To be continued)
planted a garden and dug a well, and both soul is almost like a wenakan
arms, while Käthe stood aperte ! Instead of working night and day, as with emotion. For all his Cost he commonly had before his marriage, he and the consolations of the ps now permitted himself more leisure of an brought to many others in evening, and confined his study and writ- tion, he realized now, as here ing chiefly to the daytime. It was his fore, the clamorous insisteny custom, so he remarked in 1537, to go to grief. “It is strange," he care bed regularly at nine o'clock, an extraor- know she is certainly wel er dinary contrast to the late hours he kept and yet to be so sorrowful." He in earlier years. When the children came, never ceased mourning her. he loved to spend such time as he could fore his death Luther writes spare with them, and they were devotedly is extraordinary how the los attached to him. From Torgau he once dalen continues to oppres wrote Käthe: “Although it is market sea- forget her.” son here, I can find nothing in this city for the children. Have something on hand if ried life, taking it as a wake I should fail to bring anything home for inely happy. Few of the ser them."
Their marriage was blessed with six many years the solace au
Despite these affiction Le
men have been privileged children, Hans, who was named after Lu- home and family as he did! ther's father; Elizabeth; Magdalen; Mar- first almost incongruous tin; Paul, named for his favorite apostle; world's foremost prophe life and Margaret. Elizabeth died in infancy. a family man and interesting Immediately afterward, in a letter to â the petty affairs of a German friend, Luther wrote: “My little Eliza- home! But it helped to keep beth, my wee daughter, is dead. It is won- and it should help us to realize derful how sorrowful she has left me. My ness.
(To be continued)
THE PEACOCK GIRL PAINTED FOR THE CENTURY BY ANNA WHELAS DELTS
"INY," began Louisa, with tears. The slight testimony he had given had
Louisa was forty years old, married only complicated the matter for Wilhelwith good fortune far beyond her deserts mina. to Miles Barrett, and the mother of six Either by chance or with great tact children. "Tiny-"
John Barrett had taken himself off. He Wilhelmina answered long before the was Miles Barrett's brother, held in enoreyes of her other sisters, Harriet and mous awe by Miles's wife. When he had Mary, had had time to flash to each other arrived unexpectedly from Boston she had disapproval of Louisa's tactlessness. Har- sent him as usual to her father's. This riet was Mrs. Herbert Wilson, Mary was time her guest-room was being papered, the wife of the Rev. John Smith.
and John was not a person to whom one “My name is not 'Tiny, Louisa. It is could offer less than one's best. Louisa Wilhelmina, and I wish you to remember and Harriet and Mary all sent unexpected it. I was perfectly willing to be called guests or bothersome children to their 'Tiny' when I was a baby, but now that father's. And John Barrett always frightI am forty-two years old and five feet ened Louisa, he was so important a person, nine inches tall, I do not like it, especially and exceedingly cultivated. Louisa never from persons younger than I.”
knew what to say to him. She often won“Very well,” assented Louisa, dully. dered what he thought of Wilhelmina, She said to herself that she would have and hoped that the superior creature comassented to anything, if only this horrible forts which one had at "father's" would business could be cleared up. But of that compensate for the dullness of mind of an Louisa could see no prospect, even though unmarried woman of forty-two. She had the minds of all of them were bent upon advised Wilhelmina to send his breakfast its solving. Their father was at hand to his room in the English fashion. Foralso, working at his desk in the next room, tunately, he was not there for many other but he could not help. Father did not meals. Louisa still prayed that he might count, had never counted. Within his have been away all of last night. It was book-crammed library he was allowed to bad enough to have a sister unmarried at be as queer, as untidy, and as irritable as forty-two; it was horrible to feel that that he liked; outside it, his wife and his sister had been guilty of an amazing inyounger daughters had always treated him discretion and that a person like John Barlike a child. He was supposed to under- rett knew it. stand them no more than they understood Wilhelmina stood by the window, the his Arabic texts. Harriet always spoke of sunshine on her curly hair. Her sisters the texts as Choctaw.
had always envied her her curls and her Now he worked away calmly, making slenderness. They envied her the more the strange noises in his throat to which now as they themselves grew fat and gray. his women-folk had long since grown ac- It seemed such a waste for Wilhelmina to customed, and remaining totally oblivious be so pretty. to the fact that there was in progress the
Wilhelmina made no defense; she prefirst serious difficulty of their amiable lives. tended not to know what they meant.