Lbeck's Dance of Death

Index + Chapter 1

See the translation and comments below.

dyt is dat register
Dat erste capittel is wo de dot is vyfleye art. vnde wo alle gheboren creatur moet steruen.
Wo des dodes stunden eddeler is wan de stunde der ghebord dat ij capittel
Van slymheit des tytliken ghudes ieghen dat ewige gud. dat iij capittel.
Van dem pawese iiij. v. vi.
Van dem keyser. vij. viij.
Van der keyserynnen. ix. x.
Van den cardinalen xi. xij.
Van den koningen xiij. xiiij.
Van den bisschopen xv. xvi.
Van den hertoghen xvij. xviij.
Van den abbethen xix. xx.
Van den godes ridderen xxi. xxij capittel.
Van den monneken xxiij. xxiiij.
Van den ridderen xxv. xxvi.
Van den canonnniken xxvij. xxviij capittel.
Van den borghermesteren xxix. xxx. capittel.
Van den arsten xxxi. xxxij.
Van den iuncheren xxxiij. xxxiiij.
Van den kluseneren xxxv. xxxvi. capittel.

Van den borgheren xxxvij xxxviij capittel.
Van den studenten xxxix xl
Van den kopluden xli. xlij.
Van den klosternonnen xliij xliiij
Van den amptluden xlv xlvi.
Van den werckmesteren. xlvij xlviij capittel
Van den buren xlix. l.
Van den baghynen. li. lij.
Van den houeruteren liij liiij
Van den iunckfrowen. lv lvi
Van den ampt gesellen lvij lviij
Van der ammen myt dem kynde. lix lx capittel.
Wor vmme dat so vele plage is in der werlt. lxi
Wo in vortyden alle stathe der mynschen beter weren wan nu dat lxii ghesette
Wo dat de hylghen godes brecklyke mynschen synt ghewest alse wy vnde hebben syk ghewalt ghedaen vmme god. vnde wo god plichtych ys vp vns vele plaghe to senden dat lxiij capittel.
Wo wy sunderliken dre schedichlike viande hebben. vnde eyn exempel van tween kluseneren: lxiiij capittel.
Van dem lesten gherichte

vnde van dem hilghe leuende des groten hilghen sunte ieronimi. vnde van der kortheit vnde armode desses leuendes dat lxv ghesette
Wo alle mynschen werden ghestraffet de syk suluen vnde ock de werlt eddel holt vnde se doch id nicht myt dogheden bewisen dat lxvi. capittel.
Wo nemant eddel is men de

vmme siner rechtuerdicheit vorhoget wert van gode alse de hilghen godes lxvij
Dat lxviij vnde dat leste ghesette is wo dat de dach vnde de stunde des dodes allene gode dem heren bekant is. vnde wo de dichter desses bokes begheret dat god em wille syne sunde vorgheuen vnde em gnedich syn.

            Dat erste capittel

AL dat gheboren wert kumpt in de noet
Dat id moet liden den bitteren doet.
Van vifleye dot hebbe ik ghelesen
Des ersten kone wy nicht ghenesen
Dat is de doet der natur des wy vorbeiden:
Wan sik de sele van dem liue schal scheyden
Dyt is dat greselikeste vnde bytterlikeste an dessem leuen
Alse de mester aristotiles id heft beschreuen
Adam heft vns ghebracht by dyt vnghemack
Do he in dem paradise myt even godes ghebot brack
De ander doet heft manninghen vordoruen
Dat is de der ere is ghestoruen
De wecht grote sunde vnde schande kleyne
De dridde doet maket de sele reyne
Vnde is de der werlde steruet vnde er valscheit nicht en acht
De verde doet heft manninghen in de helle ghebracht
Vnde is wan de sele myt dotliken sunden wert vordorven
So is se doet vor gode ghestoruen
Myt bicht. ruwe. bote mach se wedder krighen dat leuen:
Wil god er dyt van syner gnaden gheuen

This is the index.

The first chapter is how Death is five kinds and how all born creatures must die.
How the hour of death is greater than the hour of birth: the II chapter.
About the wickedness of earthly goods against the eternal good: The III chapter.
About the pope: IV. V. VI.
About the emperor: VII. VIII.
About the empress: IX. X.
About the cardinal: XI. XII.
About the king: XIII. XIV.
About the bishop: XV. XVI.
About the duke: XVII. XVIII.
About the abbot: XIX. XX.
About the Knight Templar: XXI. XXII chapter.
About the monk: XXIII. XXIV.
About the knight: XXV. XXVI.
About the canon: XXVII. XXVIII chapter.
About the mayor: XXIX. XXX chapter.
About the physician: XXXI. XXXII.
About the nobleman: XXXIII. XXXIV.
About the hermit: XXXV. XXXVI chapter.
About the citizen: XXXVII. XXXVIII chapter.
About the student: XXXIX. XL.
About the merchant: XLI. XLII.
About the nun: XLIII, XLIV.
About the craftsman: XLV. XLVI.
About the churchwarden: XLVII. XLVIII chapter.
About the peasant: XLIX. L.
About the beguine: LI. LII.
About the rider: LIII. LIV.
About the maiden: LV. LVI.
About the journeyman: LVII. LVIII.
About the nurse with child: LIX. LX chapter.
Why there are so many plagues in this world: LXI.
How, in the past, people of all stations were better than now: the LXII section.
How God's holy [men] have been fragile humans like us and have used power for God, and how God is obliged to send us many plagues: the LXIII chapter.
How we in particular have three harmful enemies, and an example with two hermits: LXIV chapter.
About the final reckoning and about the holy life of the great holy Saint Hieronymus, and about the shortness and poverty of this life: the LXV section.
How all humans will be punished, that hold themselves and the world for noble and yet do not prove it with deeds: the LXVI chap.
How no one is noble except those who for their righteousness are raised by the Lord, like God's holy [men]: LXVII.
The LXVIII and the last section is how the day and the hour of death is only known to the Lord, and how the author of this book wishes that God will forgive him his sins and be him merciful.

The first chapter.

All that is born comes into the distress
that it must suffer the bitter death.
About five [kinds of] death I have read:(1)
The first we can't be spared from;
That is nature's death, which we are waiting for
when the soul has to part from life
It is the most terrible and bitter [thing] in this life,
as the master Aristotle(2) has described it.
Adam has brought [it to] us with his misdeed,
when he in Paradise with Eve broke the command of God.(3)
The second death has corrupted many [people],
that is those who die from honour;(4)
They pay little heed to great sins and infamies.
The third death makes the soul pure,
and is those who die from the world(5) and don't pay heed to its deceit.
The fourth death has brought many [people] into Hell
and is when the soul becomes corrupted with deadly sins,(6)
thus is she [the soul] dead, dead for God(7)
With confession, repentance and penance she [the soul] can take life back.
God will give it to her [the soul] out of his mercy,

[Continued on the next page.]

Index 1. Chapter

Click the little pictures to see the original pages.

Baethcke's transcription

         DIT IS DAT REGISTER.
         Dat rste capittel is, wo de dt is vfleie art, unde wo alle geboren creatr mt sterven.
         Wo des dodes stunde eddeler is wan de stunde der gebort: dat II capittel.
   5 Van slimheit des ttliken gudes jegen dat ewige gt: dat III capittel.
         Van dem pawese: IV. V. VI.
         Van dem keiser: VII. VIII.
         Van der keiserinnen: IX. X.
   10 Van den cardinalen: XI. XII.
         Van den koningen: XIII. XIV.
         Van den bischopen: XV. XVI.
         Van den hertogen: XVII. XVIII.
         Van den abbeten: XIX. XX.
   15 Van den godesridderen: XXI. XXII capittel.
         Van den monneken: XXIII. XXIV.
         Van den ridderen: XXV. XXVI.
         Van den canonniken: XXVII. XXVIII capittel.
         Van den borgermsteren: XXIX. XXX capittel.
   20 Van den arsten: XXXI. XXXII.
         Van den junkheren: XXXIII. XXXIV.
         Van den kluseneren: XXXV. XXXVI capittel.
         Van den borgeren: XXXVII. XXXVIII capittel.
         Van den studenten: XXXIX. XL.
   25 Van den kpluden: XLI. XLII.
         Van den klsternonnen: XLIII. XLIV.
         Van den amptluden: XLV. XLVI.
         Van den werkmsteren: XLVII. XLVIII capittel.
         Van den buren: XLIX. L.
   30 Van den baginen: LI. LII.
         Van den hoveruteren: LIII. LIV.
         Van den junkvrowen: LV. LVI.
         Van den amptgesellen: LVII. LVIII.
         Van der ammen mit dem kinde: LIX. LX capittel.
   35 Wrumme dat so vele plage is in der werlt: LXI.
         Wo in vrtiden alle state der minschen beter weren wan nu: dat LXII gesette.
         Wo dat de hilgen Godes breklike minschen sint gewest alse wi unde hebben sik gewalt gedn umme Got, unde wo Got plichtich is up uns vele plage to senden: dat LXIII capittel.
   40 Wo wi sunderliken dre schedichlike viande hebben, unde ein exempel van twn kluseneren: LXIV capittel.
         Van dem lesten gerichte unde van dem hilgen levende des groten hilgen sunte Jeronimi, unde van der kortheit und armode desses levendes: dat LXV gesette.
   45 Wo alle minschen werden gestrafet, de sik sulven unde k de werlt eddel holt unde se doch it nicht mit dogeden bewisen: dat LXVI cap.
         Wo nemant eddel is men de umme siner rechtverdicheit vorhoget wert van Gode, alse de hilgen Godes: LXVII.
   50 Dat LXVIII unde dat leste gesette is, wo dat de dach unde de stunde des dodes allene Gode dem heren bekant is, unde wo de dichter desses bokes begeret, dat Got em wille sine sunde vorgeven unde em gnedich sn.

         DAT ERSTE CAPITTEL
         Al dat geboren wert kumt in de nt,
         Dat it mt liden den bitteren dt.
         Van vfleie dt hebbe ik gelesen:
         Des rsten kone wi nicht genesen;
   5 Dat is de dt der natr, des wi vorbeiden,
         Wan sik de sele van dem live schal scheiden.
         Dit is dat greselikeste unde bitterlikeste an dessem leven,
         Alse de mster Aristotiles it heft beschreven.
         Adam heft uns gebracht bi dit ungemak,
   10 Do he in dem paradise mit Even Godes gebot brak.
         De ander dt heft mannigen vordorven,
         Dat is, de der ere is gestorven;
         De wecht grote sunde unde schande kleine.
         De dridde dt maket de sele reine,
   15 Unde is, de der werlde stervet unde r valscheit nicht en acht.
         De vrde dt heft mannigen in de helle gebracht
         Unde is, wan de sele mit dtliken sunden wert vordorven,
         So is se dt vor Gode gestorven.
         Mit bicht, ruwe, bote mach se wedderkrigen dat leven,
   20 Wil Got r dit van siner gnaden geven,
         Der he nemant weigert, de se socht mit vlt.
         De vefte is de ewige dt to ewiger tt;
         Drvor beware uns Jesus unser here
         Dorch sinen dt unde siner hilgen vf wunden ere.

Footnotes: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)

Apparently the good preacher has been reading the writings of St. Augustine who speaks of "mors corporis" (physical death, also known as "mors temporalis") and "mors animae" (death of the soul), which leads to "mors aeterna" (everlasting death).

And of course he has read the 4 places in the Revelation that mentions 2 kinds of Death - E.g.: Rev. 2,11 " [...] He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death." (the 3 other places are Rev. 20,6; 20,14 and 21,8).

For many years I though the preacher had confounded Aristotle with Socrates, but Mischa von Perger has made me aware of "Nicomachean Ethics" by Aristotle. In the third volume 3, chapter 6, Aristotle writes: "Now the most frightening of all is death (φοβερωτατον δ' ο θανατος), for it is the end, and nothing either good or bad seems to exist any longer for the dead".

Several centuries later, St. Augustine tried to distinguish between death of the body, "mors corporis", and death of the soul, the latter being far worse since the soul is more precious than the body (see previous footnote).

The Medieval books about Ars Moriendi, the art of dying, started with a modified quote by Aristotle: "Quamvis secundum philosophum Tertio Ethicorum omnium terribilium mors corporis sit terribilissima, morti tamen anime nullatenus est comparanda".

That is: "Although according to the Philosopher [Aristotle] in the third book of the [Nicomachean] Ethics, of all terrible things the death of the body is most terrible, it is in no way, however, to be compared to the death of the soul".

See the page about Adam, Eve and the original sin.
Die from the honour.....: Lose honour.
Die from the world.....: Renounce this world.
Deadly sin: A mortal sin is a voluntary act against the law of God and thus an aversion from God - as opposed to a venial sin that may be remitted.

Mortal sin is often confused with the seven capital sins / vices, namely vainglory (pride), envy, anger, sloth, covetousness (avarice), gluttony and lust.

Dead for God.....: Dead in eyes of God.

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