The Brother / Hermit

Hermit
Figuren, Figuren: Hermit

    Der doit.
DU bruder salt nů myt myr gain
Vnd salt doch goit ym hertzen hain.
Du hast ane sunde gefurt dyn leben
Zů gottes dienst dich gantz ergeben
Vnd hast gesuchet nyt mere
Dan dyn heyle(1) vnd goittes ere
Du hast ubergeben willen vnd eygen mudt
Vmb gottes willen das ist dyr guit.

    Death
You brother shall now go with me
and shall yet have God in your heart.
You have lead your life without sins
[and] yielded yourself totally to God's service
and have sought nothing more
than your salvation(1) and God's honour.
You have abandoned your own will and mind
[in favour of] God's will. That is good for you.

 

    Der bruder
ICh dancken goit von dißer stunden
Dz ich in gehorsamkeyt byn funden.
Nü laiß mych genyeßen allmechtiger goit
Das ich gehalden han dyn gebodt.
Ich hoff auch myner vetter zu genyeßen
Wan ich han gedan daz sye mych hyeßen
Han ich aber woillt wydder streben.
Das woll myr goit vnd sye vergeben.

    The Brother.
I thank God in this moment
that I have been found obedient.
Now let me relish, almighty Gud,
that I have kept your commendment.
I also hope to enjoy [the good will of] my fathers,
because I have done as they commanded me,
but had I been disobedient
then God and they would forgive me.

La Danse Macabre ends with the hermit
Guy Marchant, Clerk and hermit
Basel: Waldbruder
Merian, Hermit

It's a little uncertain what kind of "brother" we are presented with here. It could be a monk, but we have just had two of those: the bad monk and the good monk. It's also quite clear that this "brother" is not tonsured.

The French Danse Macabre ended with the hermit (picture to the left), and the "brother" could be a "Waldbruder" just like the hermit in Basel: »Todt zum Waldbruder: BRuder komm du auß deiner Clauß« (picture to the right).

However, there are other possibilities. The author might be thinking of "the Brethren of the Common Life", a religious community, who unlike monks and nuns didn't take monastic vows. Rather much like the beguines.

Footnotes: (1)

heyle . . .: Normally "Heil" means health, but in this context it's clearly a reference to "Seelenheil", i.e. salvation of the soul.

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