MARTIN BEFORE THE DIET
THE effect of the edict seems to have been slight. A month after its issuance Lazarus Spengler, the Nuremberg delegate at Worms, reports that the placards were torn down and that books were not being turned in, but continued to be offered for sale.1 To the diplomatic heads in the Rhenish city this was now of far less importance than the cloud arising beyond the Thuringian Mountains. The citation of Luther had been drawn up, as we have seen, at the end of the first week in March, and, after some hedging on the part of the imperial councilors, it was finally dispatched on March 15 or 16.2 The bearer of the summons was no ordinary messenger but an imperial official of high dignity, Kaspar Sturm, the herald of the empire. It had been conceded by the emperor that Luther should have protection on the way,3 but the pomp and dignity with which the summons was carried out implied an imperial recognition of the importance of the offender that aroused bitter protest on the part of the papal envoys.4 Sturm was a sturdy representative of the Rhenish gentry, and had already given evidence that he shared the hostility of this class toward Rome. His anti-clerical attitude was well known to Aleander, who decorates him with a few choice Italian terms of abuse.5 He regarded him as just the man to set in motion miraculous legends about Luther.
In about ten days Sturm rode into Wittenberg and delivered the document, formidable with its imperial seals, at the Augustinian Cloister.6 The____________________