Füssen, The gambler

The gambler
Hiebeler, Gambler

Death to the gambler

    der todt.
Kom hehr spilgur,(1) ietz ist dein Zil
Muest mitt mir thon ein seltzamß spil.
Wan du schon hast dreÿ beste thauß
Gwinst nichts darmitt dz spil ist auß.

Come here, Gambler, now is the end of your road.
You must play a strange game with me.
Even if you already have the three best deuces
You don't win anything with that, the game is over.

The gambler

    der spiler
Ich hab verspiltt vil guett und geltt
Nun mueß ich fortt aus diser weltt.
Mein falschen list nit helffen thon,
Ich bsorg mir wird der spilerlohn.

    the Gambler.
I have gambled away much goods and money.
Now I must go forth from this world.
My false cunning doesn't help,
I'm getting the gambler's wages.

Another deuce hidden under the lapel?
En toer
Playing card: Two bells
Two bells

The player has the best three "thauß". In modern German the word is spelled "Daus"and like the English word "deuce" it denotes the highest card, namely number two of a suite. The picture at the top shows how the player has a deuce in his hand (and another hidden under the lapel).

The deuce is often called "Sau", i.e. a sow, and the card may be illustrated with a pig (pictured right). That's why in the dance of death in Oberstdorf, Death says that the gambler has the three best swine:


Wenn Du Schon Hast Drey beste Schwein
Gewinnst Nichtß Darmit, Das Spill ist Mein.

Even if you already have the three best swine
You don't win anything with that, the game is mine.

Holbein: Gambler
Holbein, Gambler
Doten Dantz mit Figuren
Figuren, Figuren: Gambler

There wasn't a gambler in Basel, but Hans Holbein created one for his great dance of death (pictured left) and also for the letter X. There was also a gambler in Der Doten Dantz mit Figuren.

Footnotes: (1)

spilgur . . .: a passionate gambler. The word is dialectal and was often used by Hans Sachs.

spilgurr (Grimm's dictionary)