Todt zum Schultheiß:
Death to The Mayor|
Mr. Mayor, up, for it is time
that body and soul fight each other.
This I'm playing for you on the lyre.
You may dance after this little melody.
I've attended diligently to my office.
I hope nobody has suffered injustice
in court - the rich as well as the poor.
Oh God, have mercy upon me.
Death says he will play his lyre and the picture does indeed show him turning the handle of his wheel fiddle (German: Drehleier, literally "turn lyre").
The first half of the word "Schultheiß" is schuld - so a Schultheiß is a person who decides what obligations all citizens incur. As his own remark about "injustice in court" shows, a Schultheiß had both executive and judiciary power.
Depending on time and place, Schultheiß can be used about a number of positions ranging from the duke's right hand man to the presiding member of the church board. As to two translations below show, it could also mean judge and bailiff.
|English translation from Beck, 1852|
|Death to the Judge.||The Judge's reply.|
'Tis time, O Judge, to lay to heart,
With care I've done my duty long,
|Translation from Hess, 1841|
|Death to the Bailiff.||Answer of the Bailiff.|
Up bailiff, this time, is just the right,
My charge with diligence I've done