962 GODFATHER'S PICTURE-BOOK
* Now we will go on with the picture-book,' said Godfather. ' Sharp blows the wind, and sings about the sharp sword, about the heavy time of unrest.
* It is an icy-cold day in the middle of April. Why is the crowd thronging outside the castle, and in front of the old tolbooth, where the King's ship lies with its sails and flags ? There are people in the windows and on the roofs. There is sorrow and affliction, expectancy, and anxiety. They look towards the castle, where formerly there were torch-dances in the gilded halls, now so still and empty; they look at the window-balcony, from which King Christian so often looked out over the drawbridge, and along the narrow street, to his Dovelet, the little Dutch girl he brought from the town of Bergen. The shutters are closed, the crowd looks towards the castle ; now the gate is opening, the drawbridge is being let down. King Christian comes with his faithful wife Elizabeth ; she will not forsake her royal lord, now when he is so hard beset.
' There was fire in his blood, there was fire in his thoughts ; he wished to break with the olden times, to break the peasants' yoke, to be good to the burghers, to cut the wings of " the greedy hawks " ; but they were too many for him. He departs from his country and kingdom, to win friends and kinsfolk for himself abroad. His wife and faithful men go with him ; every eye is wet now in the hour of parting.
1 Voices blend themselves in the song of time, against him and for him ; a threefold choir. Hear the words of the nobles ; they are written and printed :
' " Woe to thee, Christian the Bad ! the blood poured out on Stockholm's market-place cries aloud and curses thee ! "
* And the monk's shout utters the same sentence :
' " Be thou cast off by God and by us ! Thou hast called hither the Lutheran doctrine ; thou hast given it church and pulpit, and let the tongue of the Devil speak. Woe to thee, Christian the Bad ! "
' But peasants and burghers weep so bitterly. " Christian, beloved of the people ! No longer shall the peasant be sold like cattle, no longer be bartered away for a hound ! That law is thy witness I "