964 GODFATHER'S PICTURE-BOOK
are out for spoil. It is grand ; it is grand ! Here lie bodies of horses, and of men as well." It is a time of trouble ; it is the Count of Oldenburg's war. The peasant seized his club and the townsman his knife, and shouted loudly : " We shall kill the wolves and leave no cub of them alive." Clouds of smoke rise from the burning towns.
* King Christian is a prisoner in Sonderborg Castle ; he cannot escape, or see Copenhagen and its bitter distress. On the North Common stands Christian III, where his father stood before. In the town is despair; famine is there, and plague.
' Up against the church wall sits an emaciated woman in rags ; she is a corpse ; two living children lie on her lap and suck blood from the dead breast.
' Courage has fallen, resistance falls. Oh, thou faithful Copenhagen !
' Fanfares are blown. Listen to the drums and trumpets ! In rich dresses of silk and velvet, and with waving plumes, come the noble lords on gold-caparisoned horses ; they ride to the old market. Is there a joust or tournament after the usual custom ? Burghers and peasants in their best array are nocking thither. What is there to see ? Has a bonfire been made to burn popish images ? or does the hangman stand there, as he stood at Slaghoek's death fire ? The King, the ruler of the land, is Lutheran, and this shall now be solemnly proclaimed.
' High and mighty ladies and noble maidens sit with high collars and pearls in their caps, behind the open windows, and see all the show. On an outspread carpet, under a canopy, sit the councillors of state in antique dress, near the King's throne. The King is silent. Now his will is proclaimed in the Danish tongue, the will of the state-council. Burghers and peasants receive words of stern rebuke for the opposition they have shown to the high nobility. The burgher is humbled ; the peasant becomes a thrall. Now words of condemnation are uttered against the bishops of the land. Their power is past. All the property of the church and cloisters is transferred to the King and the nobles.
1 Haughtiness and hate are there, pomp and misery.