The Lawyer

Figuren, Figuren: Lawyer

    Der doit
Ich byn hye der bitter doit
Vorsprech dir were nu not
Mochtestů eynen vorsprechen geyn got gewinnen
Ee das dů furest myt myr von hynnen
Hettestü dich myt goit bedacht
Vnd vnrecht nyt tzu recht gemacht
Bij goide mochtestu gnade befynden
Vnd frolich scheyden von hynnen.

I'm here, the bitter Death.
Lawyer, now it would be needful for you,
if you could win an intercession against God,
before you go away with me from hence.
Have you thought about God?
and not turned wrong into right,
[then] you can find mercy with God,
and gladly depart from hence.


    Der vorsprech
ACh wye byn ich so sere besorget
Dwill der doit nyemandes borget
Ich můß nü auch selbst redde vnd antwort geben.
Von mynem suntlichem leben
Vnrecht macht ich dick tzu recht.
Was krumpf was das macht ich schlecht
Warheyt verkaufft ich vm kleynes güit
Solichs myr nů den schaden dut

    The Lawyer.
Alas, how I am so very sad.
because Death does not lend anything to anyone.
I must now also myself give speech and answers,
concerning my sinful life.
I often turned wrong into right,
what was bent, I made straight.
I sold truth for petty cash.
Such [things] are hurting me now.

Holbein: Peddler
Holbein Proofs, Peddler
Marine trumpet

A "Fürsprecher" is one who speaks for other people, i.e. an intercessor or spokesman. In the Southern Germany and Switzerland the word means an agent advocate or attorney. The intercessor in the dance is now forced to give a solicitation in his own favour in God's courtroom.

The lawyer seems to have lost a shoe, which is lying in the background.

The instrument Death is carrying is called a marine trumpet (German: Trumscheit). It is the same instrument that Holbein shows on the scene with the peddler (to the left).

In spite of its name, a marine trumpet is a stringed instrument. A marine trumpet can be up to 2 meters long, and normally a musician lets the heavy end rest on the floor. Death holds it the other way (both in Doten Dantz mit Figuren and on Holbein's woodcut) and Death doesn't even have a bow.