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A History of the Reformation (Vol. 1 of 2)

Boasts that Eck was entirely devoted to him


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morning (Wednesday, April 17th), Ulrich von Pappenheim, the marshal of ceremonies, came to Luther's room before ten o'clock, and, greeting him courteously and with all respect, informed him that he was to appear before the Emperor and the Diet that day at four o'clock, when he would be informed why he had been summoned.(217) Immediately after the marshal had left, there came an urgent summons from a Saxon noble, Hans von Minkwitz, who was dying in his lodgings, that Luther would come to hear his confession and administer the sacrament to him. Luther instantly went to soothe and comfort the dying man, notwithstanding his own troubles.(218) We have no information how the hours between twelve and four were spent. It is almost certain that there must have been another consultation. Spalatin and Brueck had discovered that the conduct of the audience was not to be in the hands of Glapion, the confessor of the Emperor, as they had up to that time supposed, but in those of John Eck, the Orator or Official of the Archbishop of Trier.(219) This looked badly for Luther. Eck had been officiously busy in burning Luther's books at Trier; he lodged in the same house and in the room next to the papal nuncio.(220) Aleander, indeed, boasts that Eck was entirely devoted to him, and that he had been able to draft the question which Eck put to Luther during the first audience.(221)

? 5. Luther's first Appearance before the Diet

of Worms.(222)

A little before four o'clock, the marshal and Caspar Sturm, the herald, came to Luther's lodging to escort him to the audience hall. They led the Reformer into the street to conduct him to the Bishop's Palace, where the Emperor was living along with his younger brother Ferdinand, afterwards King of the Romans and Emperor, and where the Diet met.(223) The streets were thronged; faces looked down from every window; men and women had crowded the roofs to catch a glimpse of Luther as he passed. It was difficult to force a way through the crowd, and, besides, Sturm, who was responsible for Luther's safety, feared that some Spaniard might deal the Reformer a blow with a dagger in the crowd. So the three turned into the court of the Swan Hotel; from it they got into the garden of the House of the Knights of St. John; and, as most of the courts and gardens of the houses communicated with each other, they were able to get into the court of the Bishop's Palace without again appearing on the street.(224)

The court of the Palace was full of people eager to see Luther, most of them evidently friendly. It was here that old General Frundsberg, the most illustrious soldier in Germany, who was to be the conqueror in the famous fight at Pavia, clapped Luther kindly on the shoulder, and said words which have been variously reported. "My poor monk! my little monk! thou art on thy way to make a stand as I and many of my knights have never done in our toughest battles. If thou art


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