Todt zur Heydin:
Death to The Heathen Woman|
I can, heatheness, fine and artfully,
grab a death-tune on the bagpipe,
that you must dance after like your husband,
even if you called all [your] gods.
The Heathen Woman.|
Juno, Venus and also Pallas.
You goddesses have mercy that
I must die. Help me out of distress.
No blessing helps against Death.
In Kleinbasel (to the left), Death doesn't have a bagpipe, so this is presumably yet another later addition by Hans Kluber.
Where did Kluber get the idea from, with Death playing the bagpipes with one hand while grabbing his victim with the other? Probably from Holbein's dance of death (picture to the right)
The heathen woman prays to the three goddesses Juno, Venus and Pallas, just like her husband was praying to Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto. It may sound odd that there were people in Basel in the late Middle Ages, who prayed to the old Roman gods. If we compare with the text in Kleinbasel, we see that the heathens originally prayed to Mohammed. In Kleinbasel, The heathen / Turkish woman implores Mohammed: »O Machmet los mich nit in noit« - (="Oh, Mohammed do not leave me in distress").
When Kluber in 1568 added the Turkish emperor Suleiman I, the Magnificent at the end of the dance, the Turkish couple were transmogrified into "heathens".
The woodcut to the right is from Frölich's book. The heathen and his wife are on the same woodcut, which was then used twice.
|English translation from Beck, 1852|
|Death to the Paganess.||The Paganess' reply.|
Hark! Paganess I can so gay
O Juno, Venus, Pallas, oh!