TO THE ELECTOR FREDERICK THE WISE
Luther begs to be allowed to build an addition to the cloister, and pleads for two cowls. May 1519.
Most Gracious Lord. We are compelled to build an addition to our cloister. We humbly begged the councillors to do this, but have received no answer. Therefore we pray that your Grace will graciously grant our request. I also beseech your Electoral Grace to present me at the Leipsic Fair with a white and a black cowl. Your Grace owes me the black cowl, and I humbly plead for the white one. For two or three years ago your Highness promised me one, and I have never received it, although Pfeffinger agreed to it, but perhaps he has been deterred by other matters, or has delayed doing so, as people say he is very unwilling to spend money. At any rate I had to procure one, so up till now your Grace’s promise remains unfulfilled. In my present need I now humbly beg for one — if the Psalter merits a black cowl, and if the Apostle be worthy of a white one. Please let me have it, but do not depend again on Pfeffinger giving it. — Your Electoral Grace’s obedient chaplain,
MARTIN LUTHER, Augustinian at Wittenberg.