Page:Luther's correspondence and other contemporary letters 1507-1521.djvu/566
but simply to spite Rome and to get possession of the German ecclesiastical property under the excuses offered by Luther.
Although convinced of my own incapacity, for, poorly as I do other things, I know absolutely nothing of the art of drafting edicts, yet I would not by my refusal give them any excuse against us, fearing, that, as usual in such edicts, suffi- cient reverence would not be shown the Holy Father. There- fore I worked hard the whole night so that notwithstanding its length the edict could be laid before the Emperor and Privy Council, the next morning. Although it met with their full approval, yet they gave it for further examination to the Austrian Council, which did not please me, as some of its members are Lutherans, and others are in the pay of the Saxon, and all of them are bitter against the clergy and espe- cially against Rome. I fear that even if they should act quickly, yet they will not act according to our wishes, espe- cially in executing the ban of the Empire, which would be particularly deplorable. We will do our very best to have it appear in the proper form and none other. This procedure is the more remarkable in that when the imperialists com- missioned me as draftsman they urged the greatest expedi- tion, so that I thought they really wanted to have the edict prepared by the Privy Council in the royal cabinet, as they had decreed. This was their duty, for the Estates were reconciled to executing the will of the Emperor. I cannot explain this sudden and unexpected turn in their position . . . for this very morning the Emperor told us that he would have the edict executed, and the Chancellor that we might rest as- sured that it would be drawn up in Latin, German, Dutch and French. In all their acts they are too procrastinating, to their own disadvantage and that of the whole world; by trying to please all they get the contempt of all. Therefore even the recently published sequestration-mandate, which is observed punctually in other parts of Germany, does not prevent the books of Luther and his infamous comrades being sold here at court and their pictures exposed publicly. With all our complaints we cannot induce the faint-hearted imperialists to order the confiscation of these goods or the punishment of one merchant. And yet that mandate was passed by the