The Executioner

The Executioner
Basel's dance of death, The executioner

Todt zum Blutvogt:
SInd jhr der HErr Vogt vbers Blut,
   Im roten Rock vnd im Beltzhut
Ihr sehen sawr, kehr mich nicht dran,
   Mein Vrtheil niemand brechen kan.

Death to The executioner
Are you master over blood [and life]
in red coat and fur hat?
You look angry, I don't care.
Nobody can break my verdict.

Der Blutvogt:
IM Ampt hab ich nicht braucht Gewalt,
   Was ich thät, war in Dieners G'stalt:
Durch mich ist g'schehen kein Vngleichs,
   Drumb nennt man mich ein Vogt deß Reichs.

The executioner.
In my office I haven't used violence,
what I did was in the form of a servant.
No discrimination has happened through me,
therefore I'm called a bailiff of the kingdom.

English translation from Beck, 1852
Death to the Headsman.The Headsman's reply.

Are you the sharp dread man of law?
Whose coat and cap keep rogues in awe;
Your look is sour, but what care I,
To change my sentence none need try.

No one by me was e'er oppress'd
I but fulfilled the law's behest,
From all the same respect I claimed
And King's Head-minister was named.

Hess instead has a "Scharfrichter".
Hess, Executioner

Hieronymus Hess replaced the "Blutvogt" with a "Scharfrichter", who had a different illustration (picture to the left) and a different dialogue. Here's the German and English text:

Der Tod zum Scharfrichter.Death to the Executioner
Auf Blutmensch! mit dem scharfen Schwert!
(Obschon von Fach, mir lieb und werth) -
Ich sah Verbrecher sammt den Guten,
Von deinen Henkerstreichen bluten.
Heigh ! man of blood with acute glave
Though in profession you are brave
But still I saw you executed
The innocents (like wretches confuted.)
Death to the ExecutionerAnswer of the Executioner.
Geköpft, gerädert, strangulirt
Hab ich, und sonst noch maltraitirt;
Ich war nur Werkzeug meiner Herren,
Sie solltest du zum Tanz begehren.
I polled, I broke upon the wheel
I put to death by way of steel
But I was Organ for many a Lord
These get to dance they may afford.


Various Artists

Merian (1621)
Merian 1621: Executioner
Chovin (1744)
Chovin 1744: Executioner
Büchel (1768)
Büchel 1768: Executioner
Büchel (1773)
Büchel 1773: Executioner
Girardet (1786)
Girardet 1786: Executioner
Feyerabend (1806)
Feyerabend 1806: Executioner
Hess (1841)
Hess 1841: Executioner
Beck (1852)
Beck 1852: Executioner
Stuckert (1858)
Stuckert 1858: Executioner