Todt zum Kauffmann:
HErr Kauffmann lassen euwer Werben,
Die Zeit ist hie, ihr müssen sterben:
Der Todt nimpt weder Gelt noch Gut:
Nun tantzen her mit freyem Muth.
Death to The Merchant|
Mr. Merchant, leave your trade.
The time is here that you must die.
Death takes neither money nor goods.
Now dance here in high spirits.
ICh hat mich zu leben versorgt wol,
Kysten und Kästen waren voll,
Der Todt hat mein Gab verschmacht,
Und mich umb Leib und Leben bracht.
I had taken good care in life.
Chests and boxes were full.
Death has refused my gift,
and separated me from body and life.
The merchant already has his hand in his purse, but "Death takes neither money nor goods", so the merchant must realize that "Death has refused his gift".
The dialogue is reminiscent of the dance of death in Heidelberg and there you can even see the merchant's purse falling to the ground.
The merchant is weighing his money against a skull (above and to the left). In Hess' lithography (to the right) it's not a skull but a bone.
|English translation from Beck, 1852|
|Death to the Merchant.||The Merchant's reply.|
Come, Merchant, let your business lie;
To gather gain I've been well skilled,
|Translation from Hess, 1841|
|Death to the Merchant.||Answer of the Merchant.|
Mister merchant let your striving
I for to life, provided well,