Page:Thirty-five years of Luther research.djvu/52
Thirty-Five Years of Luther Research
outspoken statements were made. So it is already proven that the saying: "Wer nicht liebt Wein, Weib und Gesang, der bleibt ein Narr sein Leban lang" is not to be traced to Luther, but is of Italian origin. In short, when their publication in the Weimar edition has been completed these table-talks for their greater part will only afford a true estimate of Luther's personality.
An attempt, well worthy of mention, was made by Kawerau in the Braunschweig-Berlin edition of Luther (vol. VIII, pp. 105-308) to create a "Life of Luther as told by Himself," by taking Luther's memoirs, as they were contained in the table-talks, and linking them with the events of his life. It is to be lamented, however, that in this case Kawerau could only consider the German text of Aurifaber's collection. Preserved Smith and H. B. Gallinger did the same, at least in the first part of their choice collection of table-talks, 1916. But their collection had the benefit of the newer publications in this subject. It is based especially on the conversations, as they are published by Kroker and in the Weimar edition, and so has entirely supplanted the old English edition by W. Hazlitt, which since 1848 has been often reprinted. By means of a good introduction they also prepare their readers for the reading of the table-talk. A good introduction into the table-talks, intended for the common people, is the booklet by K. Bauer, "An Luther's Tisch" (1911). Like Smith and Gallinger, he assembles in it at first the home and table companions of Luther, then gives biographical sketches of them, discusses the subject of the conversations and the handing-down of the table-talk. At last on the strength of systematically grouped selections it forms an estimate of Luther's personality.