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years before the painter, who in the study of anatomy and proportion trod so closely on his heels. Unlike Dürer, he had not been born in lawful wedlock; yet, compared with Dürer, the course of his life had run smoothly, and his gifts had been fostered under a kinder sky. We never read of Dürer that he charmed the leisure of princes by the music of his voice; and the smile that dimples round the lips of Mona Lisa was a thing undreamt of in the abiding sadness of the German's mind. But the twenty years that separated the Florentine from the Teuton were as the great gulf fixed. Leonardo lived in the heyday of that pleasant indifference which distinguished the revival of letters under the Medici and the Medicean Pope; Dürer's manhood was absorbed in the sterner inquiry what is truth?' That this had been so in Nüremberg, we have already shown, and in Antwerp his zeal was not likely to wax colder.
During his stay in the Netherlands he had enjoyed the society of Erasmus, who seems to have impressed Dürer with an idea of sincerity in the cause which the painter had so much at heart, and in which the astute philosopher managed so to trim as not to lose himself with either party. The monks had said of Luther that his pestilent seed had been gathered in Erasmus' garden— You are our pride, upon whom we hope,' wrote Luther to the author of the Notes on the New Testament, to whom as early as 1513 the Bohemian brethren had made many advances : but no sooner did the storm break than Erasmus betook himself to Basle—and the storm had broken in the spring of this eventful year, 1520. The Papal bull was launched on the 15th of June; by autumn it became apparent that the gauntlet thus flung down would soon be taken up by Luther, and the Church party in the Netherlands could only hope to achieve the ruin of his cause, by means of the new Emperor.
Charles V. was crowned at Aix-la-Chapelle, October 23rd. 'I was there,' says Dürer, ' and saw all the splendours, the like of them no man alive at this day has ever beheld. How then is it ' to be described.' But the plague was raging in Aix-la-Chapelle; the departure of Charles, of his court, and of the whole army of sightseers was hastened by this unexpected disaster, and they fell back upon Cologne, where a series of banquets awaited the Emperor, and where the Papal Nuncios were then residing. The meeting of Charles and Alexander boded little good to the cause of Church Reform. Luther's books were now contraband. At the request of Hochstraten, the Universities of Cologne and Louvain had condemned them; in Ingolstadt they had been removed from the booksellers' stalls; while in Mainz, the Dominicans had instigated the archbishop to imprison the
printers. Yet here in Cologne Dürer managed to procure them: “Bought a treatise of Luther's for three silver pennies ; 'I gave also one, to buy the“ Condemnazion Lutheri,” that pious • man !' Deep as was Albert's interest in the subject, bitter, as we shall soon hear, as were his invectives against priestcraft and superstition, he was as yet no dissenter from the received practices of the Church. In the same page of the diary, with this notice of Luther's tracts, we read how he bought and gave away rosaries, and how he paid certain sums to his confessor. We know that he continued to paint Madonnas with all the attributes assigned to them by tradition, and no master of the German school has left more, or more beautiful, representations of this attractive subject. All through the notes of this year, we read of his 'two new Marys. Two years earlier he had brought out the beautiful etching, which represents the mother of Our Lord sitting in the fields, while angels, leaning across her, are about to crown her with a wreath. She comes to us from his pencil under many forms: now as the pensive Mother giving suck to the Divine Infant; now as Our Lady of Wisdom reading in the volume of Holy Writ; now sitting enclosed by palisades, she is the Hortus Conclusus,' the garden of the Lord; sometimes lilies spring at her feet, herself the symbolised lily of the valleys; sometimes borne in clouds, and holding the Child Jesus, cherubs surround her to adore the august Queen of Heaven;' sometimes with clasped hands she kneels, Ancilla Domini,' to receive the salutation of Gabriel; or we behold her the veriest Lady of Sorrow, the seven swords deep in her breast.
Such pictures continued to the last to mingle in the artist's thoughts, with his domestic cares, with the pageantry of living history, and the more awful realities of the struggle in which he was essentially, if not conspicuously, engaged. Had any part of his correspondence with Pirkheimer, bearing on this subject, been preserved, it would have been of no small value to us. His friend certainly entered into his views, and they both shared the ardent sympathy of Melanchthon; but none of their letters are extant: and for information we must depend solely on the diary, where we learn, that when the festivities at Cologne drew to a close, Dürer returned to Flanders by the Rhine and Waal, visiting Nimeguen and other towns, and reaching Antwerp a few days before the festival of St. Martin.
There closed for the painter the eventful year 1520, the first in which Europe became aware of those subterranean forces that were at work within her, and about to shake her solid foundations. The sun of that year had shone for a week in May on the tilting at the Field of the Cloth of Gold. Nearly
every great country had a new head; new politics were disclosing themselves; knowledge was abroad on the earth; new paths had been opened for commerce; the old Mexican dynasty had gone down before the arms of Cortez; and the monk who had troubled the convictions of Germany, now threatened the Chair of St. Peter-while, in England, a woman's beauty was slowly working the ruin of a queen, with whose fate the cause of Catholicism
was closely, almost tenderly, united. Early in February, 1521, we find Dürer starting for Zealand. We give the narrative of his adventures in his own words:
‘On St. Barbara's Eve I rode out of Antwerp to Bergen op Zoom; giving for the hire of the horse 12 stivers; paying for our victuals 1 florin, 6 stivers. At Bergen op Zoom I bought a piece of fine Flemish cloth for my wife: cost me 1 florin, 7 stivers ; also three pair of shoes, 6 stivers; eye-glasses, 1 stiver; an ivory clasp, 6 stivers; fees to servants, 2 stivers. I did likenesses of Jan de Haas, of his wife and two daughters, all in chalks ; they are in my little book. I made pencil sketches of their servant, and of an old woman. that in Bergen the houses are very fine, high and well built; it is a pleasant place in summer, and hath annually two great fairs. On the eve of Lady Day I went with the students to Zealand, Sebastian Imhoff lending 5 florins for the journey. The first night we anchored at sea : it was very cold, and we had nothing to eat or drink; on the Saturday we landed at Grës: there I made girl sit to me for her attitude. From this we went to Erma : before sunset we proceeded a little way, and made for the isle of Walcheren ; as we went we could see the points of roofs and houses just above the water. We reached a little town, in another and adjacent island: there be seven isles, and Ernig, where we spent that night, is the largest. We went the next day to Middleburg ; in the abbey of that place Jan Mabuse has painted his great picture: not so fine, it seems to me, in the drawing of the heads as in the colouring, To return to Middleburg : it is a fine city, with a superb townhouse, and a beautiful spire: there are many more rare things of art in the place; mighty fine are the seats in the abbey, with its stone porch; there is also a good parish church, and much more besides in the town, which would do bravely for a sketch. Zealand itself is quaint and wonderful to behold, by reason of the waterline, which is everywhere higher than the ground one. Did a portrait of mine host at Ernii.
On the Monday morning early we again took ship. Arrived again at Bergen. Paid 2 florins for travelling and living expenses : gave 2 forins for a great overcoat: 4 stivers for a fig-cheese, and lost 6 at play. Gave 10 for a comb.
'Did a portrait of Schnabhannen; likewise one of Claus, mine host's son-in-law. Item: I have done likenesses of little Bernhard, of Bresslen, of G. Kötzler, and of the Frenchman : they have each and all
, here in Bergen, paid me 1 florin. Jan de Haas' son-in-law gave me a crown, the chalks, and 1 florin, for having bad his portrait done.
Bought two drawings, paying 2 florins all but 10 stivers for the pair. Painted Nicholas Soiler. Dined nine times at Bergen since my return from Zealand, and spent 4 stivers. Gave the steersman 3 stivers, spent 8 more; and on the Friday after Saint Lucia's Day, I came again to Antwerp, and to lodge with Job Planckfelt.'
Though valuable in an artistic point of view, this journey seems to have been as unremunerative as its predecessors. It was destined, however, to leave lasting traces on Dürer: then were laid the seeds of that Walcheren fever which was slowly but surely to sap his strength. After his return to Antwerp we read of bills paid to the apothecary and the barber, which must have had the same antiphlogistic effect on his purse that the barber's lancet may be supposed to have had on his pulse.
In April a great blow fell on Dürer: we give his own account of it:
* Item. - On the Friday before Whitsunday in 1521, the news reached Antwerp that Martin Luther had been traitorously imprisoned.
Thus have they led away captive this pious man, enlightened of the Holy Ghost, one who was the follower of the true faith as it is in Christ. Whether he still lives, or whether he is already slain by them, I know not. But this has he suffered for the sake of the Christian truth, and because he chastised that unchristian Papacy, which resists the freedom wherewith Christ has made us free, adding great burdens of men's laws. That which is ours by our sweat and our blood, it steals and draws from us, spending the same shamefully on a lazy and worthless crew, while the thirsting and the sick among mankind perish for hunger. What is most grievous to me is, that God may perhaps leave us to this blind and false doctrine, which has been by those they call “Fathers” invented and reared up; whereby that which is of greatest account to us is falsely dealt with, or not held in sincerity.
* Ah! God in heaven, have mercy upon us. Oh, Lord Jesus Christ, pray for Thy people ; deliver us in due time; preserve us in the Christian verity. "Gather Thy widely-scattered sheep by Thy voice, in Scripture called Thy Blessed Word. Help us to know this Thy voice, and not to follow any sound (piping) of human error. That we, Oh Lord Jesus Christ, may not depart from Thee, call in the sheep of Thy pasture, of which a portion is yet to be found in the Romish Church ; and gather the Indians and Muscovites, the Russian and the Greek churches together, which, by the greed and devices of the Pope, and by a hypocritical zeal, have been sundered.
Ah! God, redeem Thy poor people, who through great pain and pressure are driven to that which none do willingly, and which every man sins against his conscience in embracing. Never, Oh God, didst Thou afflict any people as we Thy miserable ones are sorely burdened because of the Roman See, while we desire to be free Christians, daily redeemed by Thy blood. Oh! Highest, Heavenly Father, shed
into our hearts, by Thy Son' (I.H.S.), such light that we may perceive to what commandments we are bound, and may with a good conscience let the other burdens slip. Then to serve Thee, our Eternal Father in Heaven, with free and joyful hearts. And so for this man, who has more clearly written than any since 140 years, and upon whom Thou hast bestowed so evangelical a spirit, we pray that Thou wouldst give again Thy Holy Spirit to some one, that Thy Holy Christian Church everywhere may be gathered together; that we may live for Christ, and by Thee alone; that our good works may draw to us all infidels, Turks, heathens, and Indians, and that they may embrace the Christian faith. But, Lord, if it be Thy will to judge us, that, like as Thy Son Jesus Christ died at the hands of the priests, and rose again from the dead, so that in like manner this Thy disciple Martin
Luther (whom the Pope by money has treacherously betrayed) should lose his life, and that as Jerusalem, after my Lord was hanged on a tree, was destroyed, so do Thou annihilate this seif-arrogated power of the Roman See. Ah! Lord, give us then that new adorned Jerusalem that descendeth from Heaven, as it is written in the Apocalypse, Thy Holy Gospel undarkened by any teaching of man.
Ah! God, if Luther be dead, indeed, what might not he have written for us in the next ten or twenty years. Oh! all ye pious Christian souls, help us to weep, and bitterly to lament this man endued with the Spirit of God, and to pray to Him to send us another light to lighten us. O Erasmus of Rotterdam! where dost thou tarry? See what unjust tyranny prevails to do, and what is the might in the world of this power of darkness.
Hear, thou knight of Christ ! ride forward beside thy Lord Christ, protect the truth, desire even the martyr's crown; for thou art already an old man. I have heard this of thee, that thou hast given thyself yet two years to do and to be something. Lay these two out then for the good of the evangel, and of the true Christian faith; make thy voice to be heard, so that the gates of hell (the Roman See) may not (as saith the Lord) prevail against thee. And if then, being in this made like unto thy only Master, thou shouldst suffer shame from the false witnesses of these days, and shouldst die for this one little day the sooner, thou shalt but pass in this way more quickly from death unto life, and be clarified through Christ; so thou having drank out of the cup of which He drank, mayest reign with Him, and judge with equity those that have not done well.
O Erasmus! quit thyself, so as thou mayest have praise of God, as it was once said of David — that thou mayest dare and do, and, it may be, prevail to slay this Goliath — for God stands by His holy Christian Church, as he stands in the midst of the Roman church. Now, according to His will, may He bring us into eternal bliss, who is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, one everlasting God. Amen. Oh! all Christian souls, pray ye to God for help, that His sentence may come forth and His justice be revealed. Then shall we see the innocent blood avenged of those that Pope, priests, and monks have condemned. These are “the slain lying be