House of God
There are entire streets for shoemakers and tailors, for grocers and beer sellers; there is a market place and there is a guildhall, and near the shore, where there was once an island, stands the splendid Church of St. Nicolaus. It has an immensely high tower and spire; how it is reflected in the clear water! Near this is Our Lady's Church, where Masses are sung, where incense gives out its fragrance and wax candles burn. The 'merchants' haven' is now the Bishop's town; the Bishop of Roskilde rules and reigns there.
"Listen to the words of the nobles; they are written and printed: 'Woe to you, Christian the Wicked! The blood that poured out in the market place of Stockholm cries aloud and curses you!'
"And the monks' cry echoes the same refrain: 'Be you cast off by God and by us! You have called hither the Lutheran doctrine; you have given it church and pulpit and bid the tongue of the Devil speak out! Woe to you, Christian the Wicked!'
"A ragged, emaciated woman sits reclined against the church wall. She is a corpse; two living children lie on her lap and can suck only blood from the dead breast.
Is there a bonfire to burn popish images? Or is the hangman standing there, as he stood at the death fire of Slaghoek? The King, ruler of all the land, is a Lutheran, and this shall now be proclaimed with solemnity.
"Noble ladies and highborn maidens, with high collars and caps of pearls, sit behind the open windows and see all the splendor. Beneath a canopy near the King's throne, the councilors of state sit in antique dress on an outspread carpet. The King is silent, but his will, the will of the council of state, is proclaimed in the Danish tongue. Commoners and peasants are sternly rebuked for the opposition they have shown to the nobility. The commoner is humbled, and the peasant becomes a slave. Now condemning words are uttered against the bishops of the land. Their power is gone, and all the property of the church and cloisters is transferred to the King and the nobles.
"Pride and hatred are there, and pomp and misery, too.
The poor bird comes limping, drooping,
The rich bird comes huffing,
"The time of change brings heavy clouds, but sunshine, too; it then shines in the halls of learning and in the student's home. And names shine from it on down to our own days. There is Hans Tousen, the son of a poor smith of Fyn:
This was the little lad who came from Birkende town;
His name flew over Denmark; widely spread his renown.
A Danish Martin Luther, he drew the Gospel sword,
And gained a mighty victory for truth and for the Lord.
"There is also the immortal name of Petrus Palladius; that is the Latin, but in Danish it is Peter Plade, Bishop of Roskilde, also the son of a poor smith of Jutland.
"popish": Catholic". Slaghoek: Didrich Slagheck, priest, counsellor for King Christian II. Later he became a bishop. Hans Tausen (1494-1561) was a significant Danish reformer of the church, priest, became later a bishop. Petrus Palladius (1503-60), bishop. 1867 A.C.L. Heiberg issued his Visitatsbog, which is a central source of knowledge about the church and culture in the age of Reformation (in Denmark). Source: H.C. Andersens eventyr vol. 7, p. 327f, DSL/Borgen 1990.
How clever and cultured and learned she is! She can speak Latin and Greek, sing in Italian to her lute, and talk about the Pope and Martin Luther.
"Now King Christian lies in the vault in Roskilde Cathedral, and Eleonore's brother is King.
Bishop Svane's wife drives in a closed carriage, which only the high and mighty nobility dare do. The proud young men stop the carriage; the bishop's wife must walk to the bishop's house.
"Is that the whole story? Something much greater is stopped next – the power of pride.
"Burgomaster Hans Nansen and Bishop Svane clasp hands to work in the name of the Lord. Their wise and honest talk is heard in the church and the house of the commoner.
Now the fire has swept into the north quarter, and the churches are burning, St. Peter's and Our Lady's. Listen to the bells playing their last tune, 'Turn from Us Thy Wrath, O Lord God of Mercy!'
And look! Beside the church by the castle a building was raised to which the poorest man and woman gladly gave their pennies.