The lawyer

Götz: Lawyer
Götz, Lawyer
Kruspe: Lawyer
Kruspe, Lawyer

The lawyer in coat and wig reclines in his comfortable chair. He is being visited by a rich client. In Kruspe's drawing (right) you can see the client holding his triangular hat under his arm.

The client points to his purse and the lawyer shows by his gesture that an agreement has been reached. Death does not appear to have objections, and there is not the same atmosphere of bribery and double talk as with Holbein's judge, lawyer and senator.

As always Death adjusts his language to fit his current victim: »Mein Criminal-Prozess« / »Mein Inquisit«. An "Inquisit" was in some German and Swiss states people who where detained, while an inquiry was going on, but had not yet been convicted.

Death says that his "Inquisit" must depart »auf einem Wink«, i.e. "at a wink / signal". Götz has an odd variant: »auf einem Weib«, "on a woman". Wonder what Götz thought of that day?

    Der Tod zum Advokaten:
Mein Criminal-Prozess geht gar aus anderm Ton',
Mein Inquisit muss gleich auf einem Wink davon,
Sobald das Urtheil da. Das musst du noch studiren,
Indessen werd' ich dich den Gang zum Himmel führen.

    Der Advokat:
Legal, mein Freund, bevor man letzte Sprüche hält,
Wird ein Defensor mir, wie Rechtens, zugesellt.
Konnt' ich doch Manchen sonst von deiner Faust befreien.
Mir will man gleiches Recht nicht lassen angedeihen!

It is typical of Erfurt that many of the paintings were paid for, if not by the person himself, then by his family, friends and colleagues. In other dances of death, the lawyer would be criticized, but here in Erfurt, Death promises to lead him to Heaven: »Indessen werd' ich dich den Gang zum Himmel führen«.

Here, however, Götz and Pohle have another version: The lawyer is in for a journey in a more downward direction: »Indessen werd' ich dich den Gang hinunter führen!«.