19159Clever Negotiation of Indulgence
- Feb 2, 2013
How can we employ this type of tactic today??
Tetzel travels from town to town, and after a while reaches the city of Leipsic. Little does he know of what is before him. A gentleman comes to buy an indulgence. "Can you pardon a sin which a man intends to commit?" he asks. "Certainly; the Pope has given me full power to do so." "Very well. I should like to punish a man a little. I don't want to hurt him much just a little. How much do you ask for an indulgence that will hold me harmless, so that I shall not be punished?" "For such a sin I must have thirty dollars." "That is too much. I will give ten." "No, that is too little. I will let you have one for twenty-five." "I can't pay that. I will give fifteen." "That is not enough. I will let you have it for twenty." "Are you sure that it will protect me?" "Certainly. I should like to know how any harm can come to you. It is the Pope's dispensation; and no one may question my authority." "Very well; here is the money." The man takes the indulgence, and goes away; and Tetzel starts for the town of Jiiterbogk. He comes to a forest, when suddenly a party of robbers spring from behind the trees. Some of them seize Tetzel and pound him, while others ransack the carriage, find the money-box, and all flee to the woods.
Who are the robbers? The leader of the band is the man who bought the indulgence, and this was the crime that he intended to commit. Tetzel hastens to Duke George, who is Governor of Saxon. "I have been robbed." "I will have the robbers hanged," says the governor, and sends the sheriff to arrest them.
The sheriff very soon brings them before the governor. "You are accused of robbing," he says to the gentleman who bought the indulgence. "What have you to say for yourself?" "Tetzel has already pardoned me. This is the crime I intended to commit. I paid him twenty dollars for the indulgence. Here it is." The governor reads the paper. "I don't see as you have any case, Mr. Tetzel." The governor cannot send the robber to prison, nor compel him to give up the money. To do so would put an end to Mr. Tetzel's business, for it would show the people that the indulgences are worthless. Ah, Mr. Tetzel, it would have been better for you not to have taken the road to Jiiterbogk, and it would be better for you not to go there to set up your fair; but go on, for out of your going will come liberty to the world!
The Story of Liberty, Charles Carleton Coffin, Harper & Bros., 1878 page 201-2.
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